Sharechat Logo

NZ annual food prices lift 1.2% in March

Thursday 11th April 2019

Text too small?

New Zealand's March food prices rose 1.2 percent versus the same month a year earlier, pushed higher by grocery foods, non-alcoholic beverages and restaurant and ready-to-eat food.

Meat, poultry and fish prices rose 0.9 percent on the year while restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices lifted 2.9 percent, Statistics NZ said. Grocery food prices lifted 1.4 percent and non-alcoholic beverages were up 2.1 percent.

Fruit and vegetable prices, however, fell 2.6 percent. 

The 1.2 percent annual rise followed a 1.7 percent annual rise in February, which was the highest since April 2018 when food prices rose 2.3 percent on the year. 

Food prices lifted 0.5 percent in March from February but were flat after seasonal adjustment. The monthly rise was largely due to a 3.7 percent lift in fruit and vegetable prices. According to Stats NZ, avocado prices more than doubled in March compared with February 2019.

“Avocado prices usually rise early in the year, and reach their highest levels around June,” consumer prices manager Gael Price said. “However, this March’s increase was much bigger than usual. Avocado prices were $4.29 per 200g avocado, up from $3.12 per 200g in March 2018.”

Tomatoes cost an average of $5.20 a kilo in March 2019, 44 percent higher than in February 2019. 

The food price index accounts for about a fifth of the consumers price index, which the Reserve Bank uses to pursue its inflation target when setting interest rates.

The central bank kept rates on hold at 1.75 percent at the most recent meeting and surprised markets when it changed its language to say the next move was likely to be a rate cut. Next Wednesday's CPI data for the March quarter will be closely watched for any further direction.

The central bank has a mandate to keep inflation in a 1 percent to 3 percent range over the medium term with a focus on the mid-point. December quarter annual inflation was 1.9 percent. 


  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

AFT Pharmaceuticals starts to hit its straps
Crown seeks US$100m from Tui operator; Prospector moving on
Pacific Edge goes back to shareholders for another $20m
Crown seeks $100m from Tui operator Tamarind
Ryman underlying annual profit may rise by up to 17%
NZ dollar eases on increasing US-China doubts, lack of news in Fed minutes
From dog tucker to top dog: economists ask how Northport can be Auckland’s best replacement
MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Metlife jumps on takeover talk
NZ dollar eases on technical factors, buoyed by higher dairy prices
RBNZ eyes Westpac Australia money laundering failures

IRG See IRG research reports