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NZ food prices rise in May, led by fruit, vegetables in lead-up to winter

Thursday 14th June 2012

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New Zealand's food prices rose last month as the cost of produce increased in the lead-up to the winter months.

The food price index rose 0.3 percent, its second monthly increase this year, Statistics New Zealand said.

Produce reported the biggest increase, up 3.2 percent as the price of tomatoes jumped 58 percent and broccoli prices rose 17 percent. The price of non-alcoholic beverages rose 2.2 percent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased 0.7 percent.

Food prices fell 0.2 percent in the year ended May 31, the first annual decline since July 2010.

The data comes after the Reserve Bank held the official cash rate at 2.5 percent, saying inflation will probably be at the bottom of its target 1 percent to 3 percent band in the June quarter before rising to the mid-point from next year.

New Zealand's inflation has been constrained by a resiliently high New Zealand that's kept a lid on import prices, including foreign fruit and vegetables.

Today's figures showed the price of meat, poultry and fish fell 1.5 percent in May, while cheaper milk helped push down the price of grocery food 0.5 percent.

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