Food prices rose 0.5 percent in May 2011 and were up 7.4 percent on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today.
The fruit and vegetable subgroup had the largest impact on food prices in May, rising 1.6 percent.
Thiswas influenced by seasonal price rises for lettuce (up 45.6 percent), tomatoes (up 16.9 percent), and cucumber (up 74.7 percent). These price rises were partly offset by seasonal price falls for kiwifruit (down 61.0 percent).
Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 1.2 percent in May, with higher prices for fresh chicken (up 4.3 percent) and bacon (up 5.7 percent, partly reflecting a reduced level of discounting).
"Domestic retail meat prices have risen strongly over the past year, reflecting higher export prices for beef and lamb," Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said.
Grocery food prices fell 0.2 percent in May 2011. This was influenced by a fall of 5.9 percent in cracker type biscuit prices.
In the year to May 2011, food prices rose 7.4 percent, the largest annual increase since an 8.4 percent rise in the year to July 2009. The latest annual increase included a 2.2 percent rise in October 2010, when goods and services tax rose.
All subgroups made upward contributions in the year to May 2011, with grocery food (up 6.4 percent) having the most significant contribution. Meat, poultry, and fish (up 9.9 percent), fruit and vegetables (12.8 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 4.2 percent), and non-alcoholic beverages (up 7.0 percent) also increased.
Vegetable prices rose 21.4 percent in the year to May 2011. Beef (up 16.5 percent) and milk (up 9.3 percent) prices also rose.