Food prices fell 1.3 per cent last month, but were up 1.1 per cent up on the same month last year, Statistics New Zealand said today.
The drop was mainly due to a 10 per cent fall in vegetable prices, which came from a seasonal drop in lettuce and tomato prices.
Lettuce prices were down 37 per cent, tomatoes fell 29 per cent.
Prices in four of the five "food subgroups" recorded price falls in October, with meat, poultry and fish falling 1.5 per cent.
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From this group, ham was down 9.1 per cent and sausages down 6.9 per cent. Lamb prices were up 8.9 per cent.
For the year to October 2011 food prices were up 1.1 per cent, compared with 4.7 per cent for the year to September 2011.
"The annual increase in food prices of 1.1 per cent no longer includes last year's increase in GST," Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said.
In the year to October 2011, four of the five subgroups had price increases: grocery food was up 2.7 per cent, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food were up 2.6 per cent, non-alcoholic beverage prices were up 4.6 per cent, and meat, poultry, and fish prices rose up 1.8 per cent.
However, the fruit and vegetables subgroup fell 8.8 per cent, largely due to a 12 per cent fall in vegetable prices. Two thirds of this decrease was due to big falls in the prices of lettuce, tomotoes and broccoli.
-NZ HERALD ONLINE