Rising food prices good for economy, say experts

Food looks set to cost more at the till this year, although economists say higher commodity prices are good news for the economy.

Food prices fell 0.6 per cent in November and 0.8 per cent last month, according to Statistics New Zealand, with seasonal falls in vegetable prices the main contributor.

Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said the price of green vegetables had been affected by unseasonal weather in September and October, and was well above usual levels in November and last month.

Food prices rose 4.2 per cent in the year to December, including a 2.2 per cent rise in October when GST increased.

ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said the key message was that global food prices were trending up.