Soaring fruit and vegetable prices push inflation higher

Peter Terlato 26 October 2016

fruit and vegetables

Produce prices shot up faster than a runner bean with a 19.5% rise.

Australia's inflation rate increased firmly in the third quarter of 2016, supported by soaring fruit and vegetable prices and elevated electricity costs.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for the September quarter, highlighting a 0.7% rise in headline CPI, up 1.3% year-on-year.

Fruit prices rose a whopping 19.5% during the quarter. The price of vegetables also rose significantly (up 5.9%), as did electricity charges (up 5.4%).

The rise in fruit and vegetable prices was reportedly a result of adverse weather conditions, including floods in major growing areas, which impacted supply, according to the ABS.

These price rises were counteracted by falls in communication costs(-2.3%) and fuel (-2.9%).

The government's delayed backpacker tax could also lead to further hikes in fruit and vegetable prices if fewer international travellers decide it's worth their while picking produce in the summer heat.

Jacked-up prices don't help the fact that an alarmingly high number of Aussie adults don't consume the recommended amounts of fruit and veggies, a key indicator in the development of diabetes.

Healthy eating has often been marred by the assumption that it is more costly and uninspiring. To combat this myth, we've compiled an A-Z on how you can eat well for cheap.

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