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Food prices fall 0.1 percent in April

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Food prices fall 0.1 percent in April

Food prices fell 0.1 percent in the April 2012 month, following a 1.0 percent fall in March, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"While vegetable prices rose in April, grocery food and drink prices fell due to more discounting than in March," Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said.

The most significant decrease in April came from the non-alcoholic beverages subgroup (down 2.6 percent). Within this subgroup there were lower prices for soft drinks (down 2.5 percent), packaged

coffee (down 7.3 percent), and tea (down 8.3 percent). These movements were influenced by an increase in the level of discounting.

The influence of the grocery food subgroup (down 0.7 percent) was almost as large as that of the non- alcoholic beverages subgroup. Downward contributors included potato crisps (down 4.8 percent), crackers (down 6.0 percent), yoghurt (down 4.8 percent), sweets (down 5.8 percent), and soup (down 9.4 percent). Soup prices usually fall in March and April with more discounting in autumn.

The main upward influence came from the fruit and vegetables subgroup (up 2.8 percent), mainly due to seasonal increases for lettuce (up 40 percent) and tomatoes (up 26 percent). The most significant downward contributions from this subgroup came from seasonally lower prices for kiwifruit (down 18 percent) and lower prices for bananas (down 6.7 percent).

For the year to April 2012, food prices showed no change overall. Two of the five food subgroups made upward contributions to the food price index (FPI). Higher prices were recorded for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 1.0 percent) and meat, poultry, and fish (up 0.3 percent). The grocery food subgroup was unchanged overall. Fruit and vegetables (down 1.4 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (down 1.9 percent) fell.

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.

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