Food prices flat in April but up for year

Embargoed until 10:45am  –  12 May 2011
See also:
Food Price Index: April 2011  –  for more data and analysis

Food Price Index: April 2011  –  Media Release

Food prices were flat (up 0.1 percent) in the April 2011 month, but up 6.1 percent on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today.

The most significant increase in April 2011 came from the grocery food subgroup (up 1.0 percent). This increase was influenced by higher prices for margarine (up 12.8 percent, reflecting a reduction in the level of discounting) and bread (up 2.1 percent). "Bread prices are now 4.6 percent higher than at an earlier peak in May 2009," Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 3.3 percent in April 2011. This was influenced by price falls for lettuce (down 15.8 percent) and kiwifruit (down 27.4 percent). Kiwifruit prices usually fall in April as the new season's crop becomes available.

Food prices increased 6.1 percent for the year to April 2011. The latest annual increase is the largest since an 8.4 percent increase in the year to July 2009. The latest annual increase included a 2.2 percent increase in October 2010, when goods and services tax rose.

In the year to April 2011 all subgroups made upward contributions, with the most significant coming from grocery food (up 5.8 percent). Fruit and vegetables (up 8.7 percent), meat, poultry, and fish (up 6.0 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 4.6 percent), and non-alcoholic beverages (up 7.6 percent) also increased.

Within these subgroups, the most significant upward contributions in the year to April 2011 came from higher prices for fresh milk (up 9.3 percent) and lamb (up 23.8 percent).

Geoff Bascand 12 May 2011
Government Statistician

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