Yay – Herald does a fact check

Amelia Wade in the NZ Herald reports:

Food prices are not becoming more expensive as the increase in cost tracks the rate of inflation, an economist says.

The cost of a basket of fruit and vegetables has increased by 14.2 per cent in five years, according to Statistics New Zealand data requested by theHerald.

The Consumers Price Index – a measure of inflation – has jumped 15.7 per cent over the same period.

Shamubeel Eaqub, principal economist at the NZ Institute of Economic Research, said the rising cost of food often inspired emotive reactions.

“When you look at these issues, you sort of need to step back a bit.”

Mr Eaqub said food prices were not becoming more unaffordable. Since 2000, the average hourly wage had risen by about 50 per cent while food prices had risen about 30 per cent, he said. “Typically speaking wages will rise quicker than the cost of living.

Good to see the Herald doing stories like this, rather than just reporting a lobby group calling for GST to come off fruit and vegetables.

Note on Sunday I also blogged on this issue.

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