Food cheaper than a year ago

Stats NZ reports:

In the year to December 2015 food prices decreased 1.3 percent, influenced by lower prices for grocery foods, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the largest annual fall since July 2012.

Grocery food prices decreased 3.0 percent over the year, led by lower prices for some dairy products, and for breads and cereals. Fresh milk prices were down 14 percent compared with the same period last year.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices decreased 3.8 percent over the year, led by lower prices for chicken. Chicken prices are now at their lowest level since January 2008.

“Chicken prices have fallen during the year, with the price for a kilo of chicken breast averaging $14.62 in December, compared with $16.60 a year ago,” consumer prices manager Matt Haigh said.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 2.4 percent, with higher prices for avocados and bananas.

In seven years food prices have increased on average by just 1.2% a year. In the seven years before that they increased by 3.4% a year.

That may not sound a lot but over seven years it is.

If you were spending $300 a week on groceries at the start of the seven year period, then at 3.4% a year your food bill has increased to $371 a week. But at 1.2% a year it has increased to $325 a week only. So you have $46 a week more to spend or save.

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