Cheaper eating in February
By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor
A 6.3% drop in fresh vegetable prices in February helped to lower the food price index by 0.5% for the month.
Statistics New Zealand says the overall drop was mainly due to lower prices for a wide range of grocery food items and a fall in fresh vegetable prices.
Chocolate took a lead, with prices of boxed chocolates down 10% and chocolate biscuits falling 6.3%. Fruit and vegetable prices fell by 1.7%.
"This follows a rise of 15.2% in fresh vegetables in January 2002, largely the result of difficult growing conditions in many parts of the country," Statistics NZ says.
Meat, fish and poultry prices also fell in February, recording a decrease of 0.2%, driven by falls of 1.9% in lamb prices and 0.8% in poultry prices. These were partly offset by an increase of 0.6% in beef prices.
Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose by 0.4%, with hot pizza prices jumping 2% for the month.
On an annual basis food prices rose 4.5% in the year ended February, the first time that the annual has been less than 5% since a rise of 4% in the year to January 2001.
Meat, fish and poultry prices rose by 11.2% for the year while fruit and vegetable prices fell by 4.4%.
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