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Food prices increase 12.1%, Robertson says inflation ‘lower than expected’

Food prices graph
Stats NZ.

Stats NZ confirmed this week that grocery prices had increased 12.1% in March 2023, when compared to March 2022.

The Consumer Price Index rose by 1.2%, which the annual inflation rate is currently at 6.7%.

According to Stats NZ, grocery products were the largest contributor to the price movement.

‘Increasing prices for barn or cage-raised eggs, potato chips, and 6-pack yoghurt were the largest drivers within grocery food,’ consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.

In March 2023, the annual increase was due to rises across all the broad food categories Stats NZ measures. Compared with March 2022:

  • grocery food prices increased by 14 percent
  • fruit and vegetables prices increased by 22 percent
  • restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 8.7 percent
  • meat, poultry and fish prices increased by 7.8 percent
  • non-alcoholic beverage prices increased by 8.2 percent.

The second-largest contributor to the annual movement was fruit and vegetables. The increase was driven by tomatoes, potatoes, and avocados.

Monthly change

Monthly food prices rose 0.8 percent in March 2023 compared with February 2023. After adjusting for seasonal effects, they were up 0.5 percent.

‘Inflation lower than expected but Cyclone Gabrielle keeps prices elevated’

In a statement today, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the inflation rate was lower than market expectations, and was the lowest quarterly increase since March 2021.

‘While lower than expected, today’s result is still elevated by the impact of flooding and cyclone events on food prices, with prices increasing 8.6 percent for vegetables. The prices of second hand cars and insurance were also elevated. The effects of the cyclone will flow through into the June quarter results as well.

‘Treasury forecast inflation will be 0.4 percentage points higher in the first half of the year because of the extreme weather. We don’t have control over what the weather does, but we know it puts a strain on household’s budgets.

‘We’re taking a range of actions to ease the pressure on families. We’ve lifted the incomes of over 1.4 million New Zealanders, including seniors, families, workers and students, In order to help budgets stretch further, we’ve extended the fuel tax cuts and half price public transport and made childcare more affordable to more families. The Winter Energy Payment will provide cost of living relief for electricity bills from the start of May.

‘The cost of living is the main challenge right now in the economy and will be a major focus in May’s budget. Our policy repriorisation review has netted $1 billion in savings so we can do more to support New Zealanders at this challenging time,’ said Robertson.

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  1. Amazing that G. Can still find soooo manyyyy excuses to the crises that ultimately resulted from his “teams” mismanagement. Mismanagement on steroids!

  2. NZs cost of living and outrageous food cost inflation is a deliberate ploy by the WEF and Co. Anyone who thinks that the Hawkes Bay Cyclone was not a man made Geo Engineered event has been totally fully completely brainwashed and there is no hope of saving you. Stop watching MSM. The whole of the Hawkes Bay is a Crime Scene – has the final number of dead and missing been calculated yet ? It never will be with the NZ Govts. we are not Pulblic Servants anymore status with the Police and Judicary the same just acting as Govts. agents in one big Cabal controlled by overseas unelected Criminal Organisations as in the WEF UN and WHO. You think things are bad now this is just the entree. One day NZ will have to be repossessed as in taken back from those who are trying to steal it !!!

  3. So what’s the fat c*** saying, the government has fixed it without doing anything?
    The prices I was paying for groceries today were a rip off. He’s spending too much time gobbling Hipkins.


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