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NZ food price index falls 1.3% in August, led by fruit, vegetables

Tuesday 13th September 2011

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New Zealand food prices came off the boil in August after seven consecutive months of gains, as costs fell in line with seasonal trends led by fruits and vegetables.

The food price index fell 1.3% in August, its biggest monthly drop since February 2010, and comes after prices rose 2% in July and 1.4% in June, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Four of the five subcategories saw prices fall compared with July, led by fruits and vegetable costs which dropped 5.9% in August.

Prices of nonalcoholic beverages fell 1.3%, meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 0.9%, grocery food costs fell 0.3%, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat-foods were unchanged.

The monthly dip does little to ease inflationary pressures in the economy on an annual basis though, with food costs 6.6% higher than they were this time last year, outstripping consumer price inflation which currently stands at 5.3%. Still, that's down from 7.9% for the year ending July 31.

Looking at the price increases of the subgroups on a 12 month basis ending in August, fruit and vegetable rose 13.2%, non-alcoholic beverages rose 6.6%, grocery food rose 6.2%, meat, poultry and fish rose 5%, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods rose 4.2%.


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