Over the past year, the prices of fruits and vegetables have dropped by 9 percent, contributing to a continuing trend of easing food price inflation.

New Stats NZ data reveals that fruit and vegetable prices have decreased by 9.3 percent over the past year, with notable declines seen in tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce.

Over the same period, overall food price inflation has remained subdued, registering at just 2.1 percent for the year ending February, marking its lowest level since May 2021. Notably, prices for meat, poultry, and fish saw a marginal increase of only 0.2 percent.

However, diners faced higher costs as the price of restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food surged by 6.7 percent.

Stats NZ consumer prices manager Will Bell highlighted the rise in dining-out expenses, stating, “Going out for a meal or grabbing takeaways was more expensive in February 2024.”

Supermarket grocery food prices experienced a 3.9 percent increase, while non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 4.3 percent over the year. However, on a monthly basis compared to January, grocery prices, as well as meat, poultry, and fish, saw a slight decrease of 0.5 percent.

In addition to the food price data, Stats NZ also released its monthly Selected Price Index (SPI), which monitors changes in food, accommodation, and travel costs. The SPI provides a monthly snapshot of price fluctuations for approximately 45 percent of New Zealand household spending, complementing the quarterly release of the full Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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