Food prices in New Zealand were up 0.7 percent on month in July, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday - up from 0.5 percent in June.
Individually, fruit and vegetable prices rose 2.4 percent, while meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 0.1 percent, grocery food prices rose 0.3 percent, non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.8 percent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.4 percent.
"Lettuce prices are now at their highest since the series began, and 2.5 percent higher than their previous peak in May 2017," consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said. "July was particularly cold and wet in the North Island where a lot of our lettuce is grown."
On a yearly basis, food prices jumped 1.1 percent after rising just 0.2 percent in the previous month.
Individually, fruit and vegetable prices decreased 1.4 percent, while meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 0.3 percent, grocery food prices were flat, non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 4.0 percent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 3.2 percent.
"Large seasonal changes in fruit and vegetable prices tend to lead monthly food price movements," Duoba said. "But price increases for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food have been consistent and led annual food price inflation this year."
After seasonal adjustment, food prices rose 0.6 percent.
Also on Monday, BusinessNZ said that the services sector in New Zealand picked up steam in July with a PMI score of 55.1.
That's up from the downwardly revised reading of 52.7 in June (originally 52.8), and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.