Food prices rose 0.3 per cent in March, after staying relatively flat in February, Statistics New Zealand said today.
Food prices in March were up 5.5 per cent on a year earlier.
The meat, poultry, and fish subgroup had the biggest impact on food prices in March, up 1.5 per cent. Beef was up 3.8 per cent and lamb 3 per cent.
Grocery food prices rose 0.4 per cent, with bread prices up 4.6 per cent.
"Bread prices are now 2.4 per cent higher than when they previously peaked, in May 2009," Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said.
The price of fresh milk prices was down slightly - 0.2 per cent - down from its peak the month before. Supermarket chains announced in February that prices would not increase for the rest of this year.
The only part of the index heading down was fruit and vegetables, down 1.6 per cent in March, mostly due to the seasonal impact of apples, which dropped in price by 25 per cent.
In the year to March 2011, food prices increased 5.5 per cent. This included a 2.2 per cent increase in October 2010, when GST increased.
The most significant upward contribution coming from grocery food, which was up 5.5 per cent and fruit and vegetables which rose 10.4 per cent over the year.
Fresh milk prices were up 9.3 per cent in the year to March 2011. Beefe prices were up 8.2 per cent and lamb was up 16.4 per cent.
-NZ HERALD ONLINE