E-bikes and video doorbells added to UK inflation basket

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Bikes and home security cameras have been added to the basket of goods used to calculate inflation as new technology and concerns over the environment continue to shape the country’s shopping habits, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Economists at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said frozen berries have also been introduced into the inflation basket for the first time due to the popularity of home-made smoothies.

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In the annual update of the goods and services basket, 26 items have been added and 16 removed from more than 700 chosen by the ONS to show what Britons typically spend their money on.

This sees a shift from additions in recent years, when hand sanitizers and antibacterial hand surface wipes made it onto the list as households responded to the pandemic.

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The impact of mobile phone technology continues to resonate with the removal of CDs and digital cameras from our baskets, showing how most of us listen to music and take pictures directly from our phones these days.

The ONS said: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on baskets, which has been so apparent over the past few years, is set to fade from our buying habits in 2023.

“This year’s changes point to evolving consumer choices, the rise of new technology, and a growing awareness of our health and the environment.”

Items removed from the basket include CDs outside the Top 40 chart as the rise of music streaming is seeing a decrease in CD sales, with non-film DVDs being another shown to be taken out of the collection.

Elcopops – which soared in popularity in the 1990s – have also been pushed out with digital compact cameras, given that mobile phone cameras are now the norm.

Mike Hardie, Deputy Director of Value Change at the ONS, said: “The impact of mobile phone technology continues to resonate with the removal of CDs and digital cameras from our baskets, reflecting how most of us listen to music more directly Let’s take pictures. Our phones these days.

With the boot given, the list of new entrants shows a switch to newer technologies as video doorbells and home security cameras are added, while computer game accessories and soundbars have also been included, as well as home printers.

Mr Hardy said the focus on the environment also played a part this year, adding e-bikes for the first time.

“With many people looking to reduce their impact on the environment, we have also introduced e-bikes, whose popularity has grown tremendously in recent years,” he said.

The foods people buy have also changed significantly, with dairy-free spreads being added to the basket as the free-from range continues to expand.

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at Interactive Investor, said: “The latest inflation basket reflects a changing market – one that is increasingly technologically savvy and health conscious.”

He added: “As habits change, what counts as “everyday” has evolved.

“The ONS basket of products has become more diverse than ever with the inclusion of products some of us would never even dream of buying.

“Items enter the basket for a variety of reasons, some due to consumer popularity making statisticians’ shopping lists, or simply to diversify the range of products for already established items.”

The ONS said it was also changing the data used to calculate rail fares, switching from the Office of Rail and Road’s Rail Fare Index to the Rail Distribution Group, which produces the index for more than 30 million years. Uses price points.

Mr Hardy said: “Our new data source for rail fares will see a major improvement in our calculations for rail fares, part of our wider transformation plans to move away from physical price collections and introduce new, big data sources over the coming years part of.” ,

Credit: www.standard.co.uk /

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