Food prices up 2.7% in August, 10.6% year-on-year

Food prices up 2.7% in August, 10.6% year-on-year
Food prices rose 2.7% in the month to August, the largest monthly increase since GST was changed from 10% to 12.5% 19 years ago. The year-on-year increase in August was 10.6%, the biggest change since May 1990. The food and vegetable subgroup rose 9.6% over the month, with lettuce prices up 33.6% and tomato prices up 42.8%. "Vegetable prices have increased by a total of 36.4 percent over the past four months, with growing conditions hampered by unusually wet weather," Statistics New Zealand statistician Geoff Bascand said. "If vegetable prices had remained constant at July 2008 prices, the FPI would have risen 1.3 percent," Bascand said. Grocery food was up 1.9% and meat, poultry and fish prices rose by 2.6%. In the grocery food group, cakes and biscuits rose 8% and fresh milk rose 4.4% in August. Lamb prices rose 16.8% during the month. Year-on-year, grocery food prices increased by 13.1%. Butter rose 87.6%, cheese by 43.8%, bread by 17.4% and fresh milk by 12.5%. Fruit and vegetables prices rose 19.1% in the year to August 2008, with lettuce prices up 145.3%, Statistics New Zealand said.

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