Food inflation back on the rise

Posted by Isobel Drake on 27th January 2010

The level of food inflation in Australia has risen to 1.4% in the December quarter, although it remains moderate when compared to the rapid price hikes of the first half of 2008.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released their figures this morning, with food one of the main contributors to a 0.5% increase to the CPI. The food group inflation of 1.4% was noticeably higher than recent quarters, with the full year-on-year figure at just 1.9%.

The most significant contributors to the increase were fruit (+15.9%), vegetables (+2.0%), and restaurant meals (+0.9%). Bacon and ham (-6.2%) provided the most significant offset.

“The rise in fruit was driven by adverse weather in some growing areas, which resulted in lower yields and short supplies for some types of fruit,” the official statistics body reported.

Over the twelve months to December quarter 2009, nineteen of the twenty-six food categories rose. Increases were mainly driven by general price rises in fish and other seafood (+5.9%), fruit (+4.6%), take away and fast foods (+3.8%), restaurant meals (+3.2%), and, snacks and confectionery (+3.1%). Vegetables (-4.9%) and milk (-4.8%) recorded the most significant negative price movements.