Food prices fall 0.1% in September

Lettuce prices fell 45% in September. Photo: Getty Images
Lettuce prices fell 45% in September. Photo: Getty Images
Food prices for consumers were almost unchanged overall during September, although vegetable prices fell 8.7% for the month, led by lower prices for lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Overall, food prices were almost unchanged in September, down just 0.1% on September last year, Stats NZ consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said.

Offsetting the 8.7% decline in vegetable prices were higher prices for ready-to-eat food, up 3.5%, and milk, cheese and eggs, up 2.2%.

Also on the rise were meat and poultry prices, which were up 2%.

Lettuce was the star performer for consumers in September, prices down 45% to an average of $1.81 a head, and down 30% for the year.

Ms Duoba said that lettuce prices reached a record high of $5.42 for a 500g head of lettuce in July because of poor weather.

"But since then we've had two major price falls, which meant lettuce prices reached an unseasonably low level this September," she said.

The flat food prices reinforced the view inflation remained muted overall and monetary policy would continue to be stimulatory, BusinessDesk reported.

In its latest cash rate review, the Reserve Bank kept rates on hold at a record low of 1.75% and reiterated that it could move to cut rates if the economy failed to fire.

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