13 March 2002
The food price index fell 0.5% from January to February — fresh vegetables were up 15% in January and specials on Valentine’s Day chocolates helped cut February grocery prices 10%. But over the year from February 2001, the food price index rose 4.5%. Meat, fish & poultry were up 11.2%, Statistics NZ said.
12 March 2002
Latest overseas trade indexes shown New Zealand’s merchandise terms of trade fell 2.2% in the December quarter after rising 1.1% in the previous quarter. Statistics NZ said export prices fell & import prices rose. The terms of trade for services rose 0.5% on a higher rise in export than import prices. Price falls were recorded for exports of non-food manufactures, dairy products & non-fuel crude materials. Price increases were recorded in several of the main import commodities. Excluding mineral fuels (mainly petroleum & petroleum products), import prices would have risen 1.1%.
January retail sales rose 9.1% over January 2001 figures to $3.95 billion. Excluding the 13.6% rise in vehicle retailing, the rise was 9.9%. Biggest category rises were by furniture/floor coverings 16.5%, clothing/softgoods 16.3%, footwear 14.9% & food retailing 10.5%. Accommodation/hotels/liquor rose 7.8%. Sales in the Auckland region rose 10.8% to $1.26 billion & Waikato region sales rose 11.6%.
Insurance company American International Group (AIG) is offering a stand-alone terrorism policy in response to widespread demand following the 11 September terrorist attacks in the US. “Despite the recent US tragedies we still consider terrorism as an insurable event,” AIG’s New Zealand general manager, Anton du Plessis, said. “Banks & large institutions with property interests are being advised that the exclusion of terrorism cover in property mortgages & other loan programmes will reduce their security against those loans.”