Office for National Statistics
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Non-dairy milk, gin and cycle helmets added to the inflation basket
Non-dairy milk, such as soya, rice and oat milk, are being added to the ONS’s inflation basket for the first time, reflecting the increase in the popularity of dairy-free diets, with the rise of campaigns such as “Veganuary”. In addition, gin is returning to the basket after a 13-year absence, with gin consumption on the rise, partly thanks to the significant growth in the number of small gin producers.
Bicycle helmets are also returning to the basket after a 12-year absence, following the significant increase in the popularity of cycling due to sporting successes by British cyclists in the Olympics and the Tour De France.
Children’s scooters, which have proven highly popular in recent years, are also being added, replacing children’s swings.
Basic mobile phone handsets are, however, being removed from the basket as their decline in popularity, following the rise of smartphones, has been making it difficult to collect consistent prices for them.
In addition, council tax is being added to CPIH, which includes owner-occupier housing costs and is the most comprehensive measure of consumer inflation. ONS also published a revised back series for CPIH, including both council tax and updated weights. On average, the changes are small and impact the CPIH annual growth rate by less than 0.1 percentage points.
As well as updating the goods and services that are included, ONS also updates the weight each item has within the basket to ensure the overall inflation rate reflects households’ spending habits as closely as possible.
Commenting, senior statistician Phil Gooding said:
“The annual basket review enables us to keep up to date with all the latest trends, ensuring our inflation measures reflect the changing costs experienced by consumers.
“The addition of council tax to CPIH will ensure it remains our most comprehensive measure of consumer inflation.”
An interactive article was also published yesterday – Hipsters, Gin and the Basket of Goods – looking at recent basket changes, is available
- The full ‘Consumer price inflation basket of goods and services: 2017’ article is available.
- The new basket of goods and services used to calculate CPIH is compiled of 713 items, of which 16 are new this year, with 11 other items being removed and 8 being modified.
- Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the media office. © Crown copyright 2017.
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