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Food prices static in October

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/11/2016 Tina Morrison

New Zealand food prices were little changed in October after adjusting for typical seasonal patterns.

Food prices were unchanged in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a 0.2 per cent decline in September and a 1.4 per cent jump in August, Statistics New Zealand said.

On an unadjusted basis, food prices slid 0.8 per cent in the month due to seasonally lower prices for fruit and vegetables.

Cheaper fruit and more expensive vegetables pushed produce prices down 0.1 per cent in the month, while grocery items, which account for more than a third of food prices, were also down 0.1 per cent.

Meat, poultry and fish prices increased 0.8 per cent, while non-alcoholic beverage prices fell 1.2 per cent, leaving the overall index unchanged in the month.

The food price index accounts for about 19 per cent of the consumers price index, which is the Reserve Bank's mandated inflation target when setting interest rates.

Friday's data showed food prices rose 0.6 per cent in the year through October, impacted by higher prices for restaurant and ready-to-eat meals.

The consumers price index increased at a 0.4 per cent annual pace in the September quarter, the eighth straight quarter below the Reserve Bank's 1-to-3 per cent target band, however the bank sees it coming back into its band soon with a 1.1 per cent increase forecast for the December quarter.

The consumers price index for the December quarter will be released on Jan. 17 next year.

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