NZ food prices rise 0.2% in June as minimum wage increase pushes up takeaway costs
By Tina Morrison
July 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand food prices rose in June, led by higher costs for takeover foods and restaurant
meals following an increase in the minimum wage.
Statistics New Zealand said food prices rose 0.2 percent in June from a year earlier. Prices for restaurant meals and
ready-to-eat food increased 3 percent, led by lunch meals, up 3.8 percent, along with a wide range of takeaway food
options, the statistics agency said.
“April’s 75 cent increase in the minimum wage, to $16.50 an hour, may have contributed to price increases for these
items,” Stats NZ prices manager Matthew Haigh said. “Of every $100 that Kiwi households spend on food, about $26 goes on
takeaways and eating out.”
Bendsucking the trend, meat and poultry prices slipped 1.6 percent, influenced by cheaper prices for chicken which were
down 8.5 percent. Chicken breast prices fell 14 percent to $12.28 a kilo, the statistics agency said.
Food prices increased 0.5 percent in June from May, influenced by seasonally higher vegetable prices, which advanced 11
percent. The rise was led by cucumber up 88 percent, lettuce up 48 percent, and capsicum up 32 percent, Stats NZ said.
Meanwhile, grocery prices fell 0.8 percent in June, with lower prices for dairy products, including yoghurt which was
down 9 percent; cheese, down 4.2 percent; and butter, down 6.9 percent. The average price for a six-pack of 150-gram
yoghurt was $4.40 in June, down from $4.83 in May, Stats NZ said.
The food price index accounts for about 19 percent of the consumers price index, which is the Reserve Bank's mandated
inflation target when setting interest rates.