Food prices increased in May for the second month in a row,
influenced by seasonally higher prices for fresh vegetables,
although these were mainly salad ingredients of lettuce,
tomatoes and cucumbers.
Annual food prices rose 1.8% as prices rose in all five
subgroups. This is the third consecutive month all five
subgroups have shown an annual increase. The monthly increase
was 0.6%, following a 0.6% rise in April and falls in March
Prices in the month of May were lower for bananas and
chicken, according to figures released yesterday by
Statistics New Zealand.
Vegetable prices rose 16% while fruit prices fell 3.9%.
Banana prices fell 14% to an average price of $2.33 a
kilogram, the lowest level since August 2011.
Prices for meat, poultry and fish fell 1.5%, reflecting
cheaper prices for most meats including chicken, beef and
Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said grocery food
prices barely changed, falling 0.1%. Lower prices for
confectionery, nuts and snacks were offset by price rises for
milk, cheese and eggs. Fresh milk reached its highest ever
price level in May.
ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley food prices were expected to
increase by up to 0.9% in the three months ended June,
stronger than they had been heading into the previous two
''Overall food price inflation remains moderate although
there has been a slight tick up over the last year after a
period of very subdued prices.''
At a glance
• Food prices rise 1.8% in year to May.
• Fresh milk reaches highest ever price
• Vegetable prices rose 16%
• Banana prices reach three-year low