Timaru cut from food price tracking

Timaru will no longer have a Food Price Index on which to judge how prices are tracking.

Statistics New Zealand said the Timaru listings had been dropped as part of a move to reduce the number of Consumer Price Index pricing centres.

CPI outputs project manager Sarah Williams said an external advisory committee of CPI customers and stakeholders reviewed the way CPIs and FPIs were compiled.

As a result, from July, pricing data from Rotorua, Wanganui and Timaru regions was not collected.

Price changes for these regions will now be directly represented by Tauranga, Palmerston North, and Christchurch, respectively.

"The committee made this recommendation for two reasons," Williams said. "They wanted us to re-invest in initiatives that would both improve the CPI and make available new price indexes that show the inflation experienced by particular groups in society."

Eight household living-costs price indexes (HLPIs) for household groups will be produced by early 2016. The indexes will look at beneficiaries, income groups, Maori and superannuitants.

According to the latest FPI figures for the month of July, fruit and vegetable prices fell 0.9 per cent nationally and for the Canterbury region, fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.8 per cent. Nationally meat, poultry and fish fell 2.2 per cent and rose 1.7 per cent for Canterbury.

The Timaru Herald