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NZ food prices little changed steady in October

Friday 11th November 2016

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New Zealand food prices were little changed in October after adjusting for typical seasonal patterns.

Food prices were unchanged in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a 0.2 percent decline in September and a 1.4 percent jump in August, Statistics New Zealand said. On an unadjusted basis, food prices slid 0.8 percent in the month due to seasonally lower prices for fruit and vegetables. 

Cheaper fruit and more expensive vegetables pushed produce prices down 0.1 percent in the month, while grocery items, which account for more than a third of food prices, were also down 0.1 percent. Meat, poultry and fish prices increased 0.8 percent, while non-alcoholic beverage prices fell 1.2 percent, leaving the overall index unchanged in the month. 

The food price index accounts for about 19 percent of the consumers price index, which is the Reserve Bank's mandated inflation target when setting interest rates. Today's data showed food prices rose 0.6 percent in the year through October, impacted by higher prices for restaurant and ready-to-eat meals.

The consumers price index increased at a 0.4 percent annual pace in the September quarter, the eighth straight quarter below the Reserve Bank's 1-to-3 percent target band, however the bank sees it coming back into its band soon with a 1.1 percent increase forecast for the December quarter.

The consumers price index for the December quarter will be released on Jan. 17 next year.

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