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New Zealand records lowest annual food price increase in 2 years

Wellington, Jan 18:  New Zealand’s food prices are 4.8 per cent higher than a year ago, the lowest annual increase since December 2021, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Thursday.

In December 2023, the annual increase was due to price rises across all the food categories measured, Xinhua news agency quoted the department as saying.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 7.1 per cent; grocery food prices increased 5.4 per cent; non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 5.5 per cent; meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 2.3 per cent; fruit and vegetable prices increased 1.5 per cent, it said.

“The largest contribution to the annual change was restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, mainly driven by higher prices for dine-in meals and takeaways,” Stats NZ consumers prices manager James Mitchell said.

Monthly food prices fell 0.1 per cent in December 2023 compared with November 2023, the fall being the fourth month in a row, Mitchell said.

The biggest contributor to this fall was non-alcoholic beverages, driven by prices for fizzy drinks and energy drinks.

Other items that have contributed to the monthly fall include tomatoes, nectarines, and lamb, he said.

In December 2023, 45 per cent of items fell in price, while in December 2022, 39 per cent of items fell in price, statistics show.

“We are continuing to see more food items fall in price than a year ago,” Mitchell said.

“In the last year, five months have shown a price fall,” Mitchell said, adding the changes in food prices for the last few months are comparable to those before 2020.

 

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