NZ food prices rise in May

New Zealand Food PricesNew Zealand food prices rose in May, led by a jump in fruit and vegetables following a decline in produce costs last month.

The food price index rose 0.5% in the month, according to Statistics New Zealand, an increase from the 0.1% rise in cost seen in April.

In the month, three of the five subgroups saw prices increase, lead by fruit and vegetables cost which rose 1.6%, up from a 3.3% decline in April. Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 1.2%, and non-alcoholic beverage costs climbed 0.9%. Prices of restaurant meals and ready-to-eat-foods were unchanged, while grocery costs fell 0.2%.

For the year ending in May, food prices increased 7.4%, the largest increase since July 2009, outstripping the consumer price inflation of 4.5% for the year ending March 31. That reflects the 2.5% increase in the goods and services tax to 15% in October last year.

Looking at the subgroups on a 12 month basis ending in May, fruit and vegetable prices rose 12.8%, meat, poultry and fish rose 9.9%, and non-alcoholic beverages rose 7%. Grocery food rose 6.4%, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods rose 4.2%.