Food prices in New Zealand increased 1.0 percent year-on-year in December of 2018, following a 0.4 percent gain in the previous month. It was the highest food inflation rate in 5 months, mainly driven by higher cost of meat, poultry & fish (3.8 percent compared to 3.2 percent in November) namely pork (8.4 percent compared to 6.9 percent) and fish & other seafood (7.0 percent compared to 3.9 percent). Also, prices of grocery food rose by 1.4 percent after remaining unchanged in November while cost of fruits & vegetables declined at a softer 6.1 percent after falling 6.7 percent in the prior month. On the other hand, prices of non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 0.2 percent (compared to 0.4 percent). On a monthly basis, food prices declined 0.2 percent, after decreasing 0.6 percent in November. Food Inflation in New Zealand averaged 5.59 percent from 1961 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 25.20 percent in March of 1980 and a record low of -2 percent in June of 2010.
Food Inflation in New Zealand is expected to be 0.20 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Food Inflation in New Zealand to stand at 1.80 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the New Zealand Food Inflation is projected to trend around 1.70 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.