Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Raspberries and mash make new ONS basket

Raspberries and mash make new ONS basket

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has undertaken its annual review of the basket of goods it uses to measure inflation in the UK.

This is the virtual shopping basket that represents the items households spend their money on.

Only 36 items were swapped out of a total basket of 714, with peaches and nectarines both among those to drop out.

Around 300 ONS price collectors across the country visit about 20,000 shops to see how the prices of these representative items change each monthly, as well as scouring the internet for various centralised prices, like the cost of air fares and mobile phone contracts.

The indices are crucial statistics, allowing policy makers to see how prices are affecting people as well as being a vital tool for the Bank of England when setting interest rates.

Leg waxing has been removed as it is considered less important for measuring price changes than other beauty activities and products.

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With more and more soft play areas opening across the United Kingdom, adult-supervised soft play sessions have been introduced to the basket for the first time.

Services such as adult-supervised soft play sessions are introduced, but the child's tricycle has been dropped, replaced by newer varieties of junior sit and ride toys. Action cameras, such as GoPros, have been added to reflect their popularity with consumers.

The changing way we watch telly has led to changes, including a new category for bigger sets. set-top boxes like Freeview have been replaced by devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast.

Nightclubs across the United Kingdom have been closing over recent years and the basket of goods reflects this. Body moisturizing lotion, and women's gym leggings have been added.

A bottle of lager while out clubbing is not longer seen as typical spending due to the number of nightclubs that have shut across the United Kingdom over recent years, following the 2016 dropping of the price of admission to a club.

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