Food inflation finally slowing

Default Profile ImageBen O'Connell
Food Inflation

The rate of food price inflation has reached its lowest point in over a year.

Based on data from Stats NZ, the food price index experienced a 0.4% decline last month, resulting in an annual rate drop to 8 percent, a figure not seen since July of the previous year.

A decrease in fruit and vegetable costs, such as lower prices of tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce, contributed to a 3.9 percent reduction for the specific category.

Meanwhile, grocery prices remained stable, with only slight increases seen in the prices of soft drinks and meals from both takeaways and restaurants.

Throughout the year, grocery expenses and takeaway meals saw the most significant increases.

This was followed by soft drinks and then fruits and vegetables.

It is important to note that food pricing is subject to volatility and accounts for around one-fifth of the overall inflation rate.

Per Stats NZ, “In September 2023, the annual increase was due to rises across all the broad food categories measured by Stats NZ. Price rises for the five food groups for the year ended September 2023, in order of their contribution to the overall movement, were:

· grocery food prices increased 10.7 percent

· restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 8.6 percent

· meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 6.9 percent

· non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 8.3 percent

· fruit and vegetables prices increased 1.4 percent.

“The increase for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, the second largest contributor to the annual movement, was driven by the same contributors as the previous month – dine-in lunch/brunch, takeaway meals, and dine-in evening meals.”