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Cheaper spring produce helps food prices fall in October

Food prices fell by 0.6% in the month of October, spurred by seasonally adjusted falls in the price of tomatoes, lettuces and capsicums, and helped by a 0.5% drop in the cost of takeaway and restaurant meals.

The Statistics New Zealand Food Price Index showed a 0.3% rise to the 12 months to October.

During the October month, grocery prices somewhat offset the falls in fresh produce prices, which were down 5.5% from the month before.

Soft drinks, plain biscuits and sweets were among grocery items which gained significnatly in price, although discounting wars on chocolate biscuits saw their price fall.

"Lower food prices in October mainly reflected cheaper vegetables," prices manager Chris Pike says. "Tomato, lettuce, capsicum and broccoli prices all fell, as they usually do at this time of year", with tomatoes down 32% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The 0.3% rise in food prices for the to October follows five consecutive annual decreases and showed the opposite trend to the monthly figures, with fresh produce and meals away from home among the contributors to the overall increase during the year.

(BusinessDesk)

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