New Zealand’s annual food prices hit 36-year high

Wellington, May 11 (IANS) New Zealand’s food prices in April 2023 were 12.5 per cent higher than they were in the same period last year, hitting a 36-year high, according to figures released by the statistics department on Thursday.

Stats NZ said that in April 2023, the annual increase was due to rises across all the broad food categories the department measures, reports Xinhua news agency.

Compared with April 2022, grocery food prices increased by 14 per cent, and fruit and vegetables prices increased by 22.5 per cent.

“The 12.5 per cent annual increase in April 2023 was the largest since September 1987 which included the introduction of GST (goods and services tax) in 1986,” Stats NZ consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.

Increasing prices for barn or cage-raised eggs, potato chips, and six-pack yogurt were the largest drivers within grocery food,” Mitchell said, adding these were the same drivers for grocery food last month.

The second-largest contributor to the annual movement was fruit and vegetables.

The increase was driven by tomatoes, avocados, and potatoes, he said.

Monthly food prices rose 0.5 per cent in April 2023 compared with March 2023, statistics showed.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased by 1.7 per cent and was the largest contributor to the monthly food price increase, Mitchell said.

“Higher prices for dining out and takeaway coffee drove the increase in restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food,” he said.