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Food prices rise 0.3 percent in December

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Fuseworks Media
Food prices rise 0.3 percent in December

In December 2014, food prices rose 0.3 percent, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows a 0.5 percent fall in November, and no overall change in October.

"Higher prices for fruit, yoghurt, and chicken were partly countered by lower prices for some dairy products," prices manager Chris Pike said.

In December, fruit and vegetable prices rose 1.4 percent, influenced by higher fruit prices (up 4.2 percent), including kiwifruit, apples, and oranges. Lower vegetable prices (down 0.8 percent) were influenced by price falls for tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce, partly offset by higher prices for potatoes and pumpkin.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 0.9 percent, with higher prices for chicken (up 2.6 percent) and processed meat (up 1.6 percent) being partly offset by lower prices for beef (down 1.0 percent). Chicken prices are now at their highest level, which is 1.1 percent higher than their previous peak in December 2013.

Grocery food prices fell 0.7 percent, influenced by lower prices for most dairy products. Price falls for cheese (down 5.1 percent), fresh milk (down 1.7 percent), and butter (down 10 percent) were offset by higher prices for yoghurt (up 14 percent).

Annual change in prices

In the year to December 2014, food prices increased 1.0 percent, following a 0.6 percent increase in the year to November 2014.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 3.2 percent in the year to December, influenced by higher prices for beef (up 9.3 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 3.2 percent. Higher prices for lettuce, potatoes, and nectarines were partly offset by lower prices for tomatoes and kumara.

Non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 3.0 percent, influenced by higher prices for soft drinks.

Grocery food prices decreased 1.5 percent in the year to December, influenced by lower bread prices (down 14 percent). Supermarkets discounting some own-brand bread in recent months have contributed to the lower bread prices. Prices for cheese and butter also decreased. These price decreases were partly offset by higher prices for fresh milk and yoghurt.

The food price index (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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