Food prices have reached their highest point in 34 years increasing 12.1% in the 12 months to the end of March. Grocery prices were the main contributor with cage eggs, potato chips and yogurt six-packs were the biggest drivers in the grocery category according to Statistics New Zealand. Fruit and vegetables were up 22.2%, a slight decrease from the 23.1% recorded in February. Cyclone Gabrielle and other extreme weather events have impacted the supply of fresh produce in recent months. Prices for meat, poultry and fish continue to fall, while increases in other categories have been less pronounced. The latest data from Stats NZ arrived after months of punishing price increases and numerous problems for some producers including labour shortages, supply chain logjams and the devastating summer floods and cyclones. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says however that these latest figures indicate food prices have stabilised in the last month. Year-on-year they’re still up but from the last month he says they’ve actually seen some positive signs that we might’ve hit the peak there.
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