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Cheap chips and fizzy drinks bring April's food prices down

Published: 12:45PM Friday May 11, 2012 Source: ONE News

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New Zealand food prices fell slightly in April as consumers paid less for discounted soft drinks and a general overall drop in supermarket shopping.

The food price index fell 0.1% last month, showing no overall change compared to last year, according to Statistics New Zealand.

ASB economist Jane Turner said the upward trend in food prices remains "very subdued".

"The recent declines in dairy and beef commodity prices suggest food price inflation is likely to remain muted over the coming year," she said.

The decline was led by a 2.6% decrease in non-alcoholic beverages, and a 0.7% fall in grocery prices because of cheap potato chips, crackers, yoghurt, sweets and soup.

Turner said the cost of restaurant meals and takeaways, which slipped 0.1% for the third consecutive month, is "surprising" because price declines in this area is "very unusual".

The index also recorded a 7.3% decrease in the price of packaged coffee, an 8.1% fall in takeaway pizza, and minced beef declined 7.2%.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 2.8% and meat, poultry and fish saw an increase of 0.7%.