Food prices in New Zealand climbed an unadjusted 1.3 percent on month in January, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday.

Seasonally adjusted, food prices were flat on month.

In January 2021 compared with December 2020: fruit and vegetable prices rose 1.7 percent (down 1.4 percent after seasonal adjustment); meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 1.1 percent; grocery food prices rose 1.8 percent (up 0.8 percent after seasonal adjustment); non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 2.5 percent; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.3 percent.

A six-pack of yogurt reached a weighted average price of NZ$5.45, the highest it has been since April 2015.

“In January 2021 we saw a six-pack of yogurt coming off a number of discounted prices in December 2020,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said. “Pricing officers around the country let us know if items are on special which means we can keep track of specialing. We can see the impact this has on prices month-to-month.”

Yogurt makes up 1.13 percent of the food price index (FPI) basket compared with fresh milk which makes up 3.60 percent. The price of milk was up 1.8 percent in the month of January 2021.

The 1.3 percent increase in January was also influenced by rises in: beef steak – porterhouse or sirloin (up 7.3 percent); large soft drinks (up 5.9 percent); and potato crisps (up 5.5 percent).

These were partly offset by lower prices for grapes, down 20 percent.

On a yearly basis, food prices rose 2.1 percent – slowing from 2.9 percent in the previous month.

In January 2021 compared with January 2020: fruit and vegetable prices increased 6.9 percent; meat, poultry, and fish prices decreased 1.7 percent; grocery food prices increased 1.2 percent; non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 0.4 percent; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 3.9 percent.

Also on Friday, BusinessNZ reported that the manufacturing sector in New Zealand climbed firmly into expansion territory in January, with a Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 57.7.

That’s up sharply from 48.7 in December and it moves above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Individually, four of the five main indices expanded last month, including production (59.1), employment (55.4), new orders (62.4) and finished stocks (52.5). Only deliveries (48.7) were in the red.

“The three-month average to January was 53.6, slightly above the long-term norm of 53.0. Also, January’s improvement was encouraging in its composition, with New Orders leading the way,” said BNZ Senior Economist Craig Ebert.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –