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Stats NZ released its food price index (FPI) for 2022 today (11 November 2022). According to the data released, the annual food price touched a 14-year high of 10.1%.
The FPI is a measure of changes in food prices for NZ households.
According to New Zealand’s official statistics, the food prices for October jumped 0.8%.
The biggest contributor to the annual increase was grocery items, up by 9.7% in a year, followed by fruits and vegetables, up by 17% in a year.
Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 7.5%, Stats NZ revealed.
Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased by 10% and non-alcoholic beverages surged by 8.7%.
As per Stats NZ consumer price senior manager Nicola Gowden, this was the highest annual increase since November 2008.
The grocery prices were driven largely by increases in prices of eggs, cheddar cheese, and two-minute noodles. However, in the fruits and vegetables segment, the items that drove the prices the most were potatoes, bananas, and cabbages.
According to Gowden, it is common to see larger falls in the month of October, as per the data. Fruit and vegetable prices fell by 5.2%, but jumped by 1.3% after seasonal adjustment.
According to Stats NZ, the monthly food prices were higher by 0.8% in October compared with September 2022.
The monthly rise was more broad-based in October 2022, with prices rising in 125 of the 162 items measured in the FPI, as per Stats NZ.
Reasons for price rise
According to analysts, food inflation in New Zealand was mainly influenced by the weather conditions, which impact the crop yield. The rising commodity prices and wage inflation were other reasons.
According to the Stats NZ report, the other important cause of the price rise is fuel or energy costs rising in the last year. Further, it said that labour shortages and other economic obstacles constrained growth and drove up prices.
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