Food inflation slows but prices still 9.6 percent higher than last year

Fruit and vegetable prices have jumped 6.2 percent higher than July last year.
Fruit and vegetable prices have jumped 6.2 percent higher than July last year. Photo credit: Getty Images

New figures reveal food inflation is beginning to slow down as the cost of living continues to put pressure on Kiwi families.

The latest data released by Stats NZ on Friday showed monthly food prices fell 0.5 percent in July 2023 compared with June 2023. 

After adjusting for seasonal effects, they were down by 1.1 percent, with fruit and vegetable prices contributing the most to the monthly fall.

However, food prices remained 9.6 percent higher last month than they were in July last year.

"While overall food inflation has slowed, it is comparable to the increases we saw in 2008 and 2011," consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.

Prices for fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocadoes, and oranges contributed the most to the overall monthly fall.

"While prices for fruit and vegetables fell 4.1 percent in the month, they are 6.2 percent more expensive than this time last year," Mitchell said.

According to the agency, the year-on-year rise was due to increases across all the broad food categories Stats NZ measures.

Other key factors were restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increasing 8.9 percent; meat, poultry, and fish prices increasing 9.3 percent; fruit and vegetable prices increasing 6.2 percent; and non-alcoholic beverage prices increasing 9.1 percent.

"Increasing prices for fresh eggs, potato crisps, and six-pack yoghurt were the largest drivers within grocery food."