The annual rate of food price inflation increased between April 2022 and May 2022, Stats NZ said.
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Food prices were 6.8 percent higher in May 2022 compared with May 2021, up from an increase of 6.4 percent in April 2022 compared with April 2021.
In May 2022, the annual increase was due to rises across all the broad food categories we measure:
• grocery food prices increased 7.4 percent
• restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 6.0 percent
• fruit and vegetable prices increased 10 percent
• meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 7.0 percent
• non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 2.7 percent.
Grocery food was the largest contributor to this movement, with increasing prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food providing the second largest contribution.
"Average prices for grocery food items like yoghurt, milk, and cheese were all notably higher than they were in May 2021," consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said. "The increase in restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food was influenced by rising prices of eat-in lunch/brunch meals at restaurants."
Monthly, food prices were 0.7 percent higher in May 2022 compared with April 2022. A 1.1 percent rise in grocery food prices was the largest contributor to the monthly movement, led by an increase in yoghurt prices.
"Many dairy items have seen price increases over the past month," Mrs. Dewbery said "Yoghurt has seen the largest increase, with the weighted average price of a six-pack of yoghurt increasing from $5.60 to $6.40."
"Other consumer dairy items that have increased in price included butter, milk, and cheese. We have also seen increases in prices paid for dairy manufacturers’ goods and services in our producer’s price index.“
In May 2022, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food were 1.0 percent higher than in April 2022. This increase followed a 1.4 percent increase between March 2022 and April 2022, which was the largest monthly rise in over 10 years.
After removing regular seasonal impacts, food prices rose 0.8 percent.
“As the seasonally adjusted figure is similar to the headline figure, we can conclude that the price increases for the month did not have seasonal movement as a main factor,” Mrs. Dewbery said. ■