Food prices are going up.

New figures from Statistics New Zealand showed increases for the year to July 31 and the July month.

A 5.7 per cent increase in the price of fruit and vegetables accounted for more than half the overall increase in the year to end of the last month.

The cost of restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food rose 1.9 per cent, while non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 3.9 per cent. Meat, poultry, and fish rose 1.5 per cent, influenced by higher prices for beef (up 7.1 per cent).


The combined rise in these four groups was partly offset by lower grocery food prices (down 1.5 per cent).

In the July month, prices rose 0.6 per cent, after a 0.5 per cent rise in June and a 0.4 per cent rise in May. Fruit and vegetables rose 3 per cent, and contributed two-thirds of the overall increase.

Prices for fruit rose 2 percent in the month, influenced by higher prices for mandarins and grapes. After adjusting for seasonal influences, however, fruit prices rose only 0.8 per cent.

Vegetable prices rose 3.6 per cent, but fell 0.2 per cent after seasonal adjustment. The rise was influenced by seasonally higher prices for lettuce.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 1.3 per cent. The biggest contribution came from chicken - up 5.2 per cent, but still 4.5 per cent below its peak in December 2014.

Grocery food prices fell 0.1 per cent, led by lower prices for bread (down 1.2 per cent) and butter (down 4.5 per cent). Fresh milk prices were up 0.4 per cent, but down 6.7 per cent for the year.