Retail

Smoothies In, Alcopops Out As UK Updates Inflation Index For 2023

By Donna Ahern
Smoothies In, Alcopops Out As UK Updates Inflation Index For 2023

Frozen berries used to blend home-made smoothies are in, while alcopops at the pub are out, according to Britain's annual update of the goods and services used to calculate consumer price inflation (CPI) data.

The changes set out on Monday by Britain's Office for National Statistics (ONS) offer an insight into shifts in the public's spending choices as tastes and technology change.

The ONS said it will no longer collect prices for small digital cameras or some types of compact disc or DVD, as more Britons use their mobile phones to take photos and stream music and video.

However, battery-powered electric bikes and home security cameras similar to Amazon's Ring video doorbells will join the index, the ONS said.

"The impact of mobile phone technology continues to resonate with the removal of CDs and digital cameras from our basket, reflecting how most of us listen to music and take pictures straight from our phones these days," ONS statistician Mike Hardie said.

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Inflation Impact 

Inflation is high on the public's agenda, after surging energy prices pushed CPI to a 41-year high of 11.1% in October.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday that controlling inflation would be one of the main themes of finance minister Jeremy Hunt's annual budget this Wednesday.

The ONS will also massively expand the number of rail fares it checks to calculate average price rises. In future it will use an industry database with 30 million price points rather than an index calculated by a regulator.

26 New Items

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In total, the ONS said it was adding 26 items to the CPI basket and removing 16, while 717 will be left unchanged.

Among the additions are tortilla wraps, green beans, men's belts and mouthwash.

Leaving the index are cooking apples and super-king-size cigarettes - though other types of apple and cigarette will remain.

Read More: UK Consumer Mood Slides Back To Near 50-Year Low: GfK

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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