June 13th, 2024

Rising prices for food and international airfares recorded in April 2024

Grocery food and air travel costs increase, while accommodation abroad shows a decline.

Over the past 12 months, food prices have increased by 0.8%, a significant slowdown from the 12.5% increase recorded at the same time last year.
Over the past 12 months, food prices have increased by 0.8%, a significant slowdown from the 12.5% increase recorded at the same time last year.

Food prices in New Zealand have seen a modest increase of 0.6% in April 2024 compared to the previous month, with international airfares jumping by 7.2%, according to the latest data from Stats NZ released today. This marks the first rise in food prices after three months of stable or declining figures.

The significant drivers of the increase in food costs were grocery items such as potato crisps, chocolate blocks, and olive oil, while a decrease in the prices of fruits and vegetables like kiwifruit, broccoli, and mandarins helped mitigate the overall food price inflation.

James Mitchell, consumer prices manager at Stats NZ, highlighted the contrasting trends in food categories.

“Stocking up with fruit and vegetables became cheaper for the third consecutive month,” he said, adding, “At the same time, filling up the fridge and pantry with other food items, and heading out to a cafe or restaurant became more expensive.”

On the international travel front, while the cost of air travel increased significantly, accommodation prices abroad decreased by 4.9%. Mitchell pointed out the mixed experiences for travellers: “Kiwis travelling overseas in April would have experienced higher airfares than those who travelled in March, but on the flip side, the prices for their accommodation were cheaper.”

The report also notes a sharp rise in the cost of international air transport, which was 47.7% more expensive than five years ago, in April 2019. Conversely, prices for overseas accommodation were 30.8% higher compared to April 2019.

Over the past 12 months, food prices have increased by 0.8%, a significant slowdown from the 12.5% increase recorded at the same time last year. The year-over-year drop in fruit and vegetable prices, which declined by 13%, has been a major factor in tempering the annual food inflation rate.