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Tuesday, August 13

Food prices rise 0.5 percent for the July month

Food prices rose 0.5 percent in July 2013, Statistics New Zealand said today.

This was on the back of higher prices for vegetables, cheese, and bread, and less discounting for some snack foods.

"The 0.5 percent rise in July 2013 followed a rise of 2.1 percent in June 2013," prices manager Chris Pike said. 

"This shows a similar pattern to July and June last year, when food prices rose 0.2 percent after a 1.4 percent rise."

In July 2013, seasonally higher prices were recorded for lettuce (up 40 percent) and broccoli (up 40 percent), and higher prices were also recorded for muesli bars (up 15 percent, due to less discounting).

These prices were partly offset by lower prices for tomatoes (down 5.7 percent) and fruit (down 2.2 percent), including avocados (down 23 percent).

There was also more discounting for chicken pieces (down 3.4 percent).

Grocery food prices rose 0.5 percent, influenced by higher prices for muesli bars, cheese (up 4.8 percent), and wholegrain and wheatmeal breads (up 5.2 percent).

The non-alcoholic beverages group fell 0.7 percent, largely due to more discounting on energy drinks.

Annual change in prices

For the year to July 2013, the food price index (FPI) increased 0.9 percent.

The main upward contribution came from higher prices for fruit and vegetables (up 3.5 percent). Prices for vegetables rose 3.8 percent, while fruit prices rose 3.3 percent.

Vegetable prices were influenced by higher prices for lettuce (up 44 percent) and potatoes (up 9.7 percent), which were countered by lower prices for tomatoes (down 12 percent) and courgettes (down 44
percent). Fruit prices reflected higher prices for nectarines (up 40 percent) and bananas (up 8.7 percent), partly offset by lower prices for strawberries (down 12 percent).

Prices also increased for the meat, poultry, and fish food group (up 1.2 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.3 percent), and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 0.6 percent).

These increases were partly offset by lower prices for the grocery food subgroup (down 0.4 percent), primarily influenced by lower prices for multipack meat pies (down 9.4 percent), yoghurt (down 4.5 percent), and chocolate bars and blocks (down 2.9 percent).

The FPI measures the rate of price change of food and food services purchased by households. Statistics NZ visits shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the FPI and check package sizes.