Friday 11th March 2011
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Food prices rose just 0.1% in the February but are up 5.3% on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today.
Most prices were collected before the Christchurch earthquake on February 22.
The rising cost of food has been an issue economists are monitoring as high commodity prices increase food prices. The flat result in February followed a 1.8% rise in January.
Grocery food prices rose 0.6% in February, and a 1.5% rise in the subgroup comprising milk, cheese, and eggs was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the increase. The milk, cheese, and eggs subgroup notched up a 9.5% rise for the year.
"A seasonal fall in fruit and vegetable prices in February offset rises in grocery food prices, particularly for dairy products," Statistics New Zealand prices manager Chris Pike said.
Yoghurt prices rose 4.5%, fresh milk prices rose 1.1% and butter prices rose 3.5% but chocolate prices fell 7.4%.
The fruit and vegetables subgroup fell 1.7% in February and included in this was a 21.3% fall in the price of apples. The fruit and vegetables subgroup usually falls in February.
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