Food bills rise after three months of falls

  • 13/08/2015

New Zealand food prices have risen after three months of decline, as more expensive fruit, vegetables and meat offset a fall in grocery prices.

The food price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in July, after falling 0.8 percent in June, according to Statistics New Zealand.

On an annual basis food prices increased 1.2 percent in the year through July.

Food prices account for about a fifth of the broader consumers price index, which dropped below the Reserve Bank's one-three percent target range, rising at an annual pace of 0.3 percent in the year ended June 30.

Thursday's data shows fruit and vegetable prices climbed three percent July, but were up 0.6 percent after seasonal adjustment stripped out the cost of more expensive winter vegetables, Statistics NZ said.

Meat, poultry and fish prices rose 1.3 percent, reflecting higher prices for chicken.

Non-alcoholic beverages rose 0.1 percent, while restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices were unchanged. Grocery food prices declined 0.1 percent in July, on the back of cheaper bread and butter.

On an annual basis, fruit and vegetable prices increased 5.7 percent, and accounted for more than half the overall annual increase.

Meat, poultry and fish prices rose 1.5 percent in the year through July, pushed up by more expensive beef, while non-alcoholic beverages gained 3.9 percent.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food gained 1.9 percent. Grocery food prices fell 1.5 percent.