Food prices up 12.5 percent - Statistics NZ

Statistics NZ's food price index rose again in June, pushed up by a lift in the cost of eggs, yoghurt and cheese.

The index rose by 12.5 percent from a year earlier, Stats NZ said on Thursday.

It comes after the May reading had the annual increase up by 12.1 percent.

The June reading was the same as April's 12.5 percent rise.

Stats NZ's latest data showed fruit and vegetable prices rose by 22 percent from the previous year with tomato, kūmara, and potato costs all gaining. 

Grocery food prices also rose by 12.8 percent year-on-year. 

"Increasing prices for fresh eggs, six-pack yoghurt and cheddar cheese were the largest drivers within grocery food," Stats NZ consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.

Meat, poultry and fish prices also rose 11 percent from June 2022, while non-alcoholic beverages were up 9.7 percent in the same period.

In addition to the significant year-on-year increases, the food price index also rose 0.9 percent month-on-month - attributed to increasing prices for the likes of tomatoes, capsicums and lettuce. 

New Zealand's ongoing food price inflation comes despite Aoteaora's general consumer prices and world food costs trending down.

"Food prices... that's been the major driver of inflation in New Zealand," Milford Asset Management portfolio manager Mark Riggall told AM before the latest data was released. 

"It has been falling overseas so you'd expect to see a similar pattern happening here."