For the first time in nearly six years, food prices have fallen from levels of a year earlier.
Figures from Statistics New Zealand yesterday showed a 0.7 per cent fall in food prices last month helped food prices for the year to May fall 0.5 per cent - the first annual fall since the year to July 2004.
In the year to May, prices in the meat, poultry, and fish category, and the fruit and vegetables category fell 4.5 per cent. Prices for the meat, poultry, and fish subgroup had returned to levels last seen in September 2008 and were 7.1 per cent lower than their peak last year, SNZ said.
Fresh chicken prices fell 11.5 per cent over the year, porterhouse/sirloin beef steak fell 10.6 per cent, bacon fell 7.4 per cent and bananas were down 9.1 per cent.
Price rises over the year included a 6.8 per cent lift in soft drink prices, a 5.1 per cent lift in fresh milk, 28.9 per cent lift in butter, and 9.9 per cent gain in cheddar cheese.
In May, prices in the meat, poultry, and fish subgroup fell 2.4 per cent, with porterhouse/sirloin beef steak down 16.2 per cent, and fresh chicken down 5 per cent.
Grocery food prices fell 0.7 per cent in May, largely due to a 5.8 per cent fall in prices for potato crisps, and a 4.4 per cent fall in chocolate bars and blocks.