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NZ food prices rise 0.2 percent in April as tomato prices soar 67 percent

Monday 13th May 2013

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New Zealand food prices rose for the first time in three months, led by fruit and vegetables as tomato prices soared 67 percent.

Prices rose 0.2 percent in April from March, to be 0.1 percent lower than in the same month of 2012, according to Statistics New Zealand

Food prices make up about 19 percent of the consumer price index, which rose 0.4 percent in the first quarter, for a relatively tame annual gain of 0.9 percent. That's short of the Reserve Bank's target of 1 percent to 3 percent on average, over time.

The jump in prices of tomatoes made up for weaker prices of lettuce and broccoli, both down about 14 percent in the latest month, and a 24 percent decline for kiwifruit. Cabbage prices dropped 16 percent. Vegetable prices rose 2 percent compared with April 2012.

Prices for meat, poultry and fish were broadly unchanged in the month, to be 1.1 percent lower in the year.

Grocery food prices rose 0.2 percent in the month and fell 1.8 percent in the year, while non-alcoholic drinks rose 0.3 percent in April from March, gained 2.5 percent from April 2012.

Restaurant and takeaway food prices were unchanged in the latest month and rose 1.2 percent from a year earlier.

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