Office for National Statistics
Ringing the changes – capturing consumer experience within our inflation statistics
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announces 2022 basket of goods and confirms plans for “scanner data” in headline Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
Today we reveal the annual changes to the inflation basket of goods. This “virtual basket” contains over 700 carefully selected items representative of the goods and services that consumers typically spend their money on. It is of vital importance that this basket accurately measures the changing cost of products and services over time and also the changing tastes and habits of UK consumers.
Some items are taken out of the basket, some are brought in, while others remain unchanged. The changes represent what is happening in society and for 2022, we can see that the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on consumer behaviour continues.
With inflation and the impact of higher prices on households’ cost of living sharply in the spotlight, it has never been more important that the ONS is able to fully reflect people’s experiences of inflation.
So, as well as the changes to the basket of goods, we are also announcing further detail of our plans to transform UK consumer price statistics. Alongside our main inflation release on 23 March 2022, we will be launching a personal inflation calculator, which can be used to calculate your own personal inflation experience based on your spending patterns.
For the future we are moving to new and improved data sources and developing our methods and systems to provide an enhanced and clearer picture of changing prices and costs. The ONS is working with retailers to get data straight from their tills, which will include how much each item costs and how many of each type, including value and premium brands from shops in every area of the country.
We can also confirm that these “scanner data” will be included in headline CPI from 2024. This will give us much more clarity and detail on how consumers are changing their spending habits.
This year’s main changes to the 2022 basket of goods
The rise in homeworking has seen the demise of the suit from the consumer basket. A new men's formal jacket and blazer item is being introduced to ensure men’s formal and business wear is still represented in the basket.
The increase in homeworking has seen sales of individual cakes decline in favour of multipacks, so our representative sweet treat, the single doughnut, is leaving the basket this year.
Antibacterial surface wipes
Demand for antibacterial products is still high, and the convenience and ease of use of the surface wipe sees it sweeping into the basket.
Pet ownership has increased during the pandemic, so dog and cat collars have been added to reflect the growth in pet accessories.
Canned pulses and Meat-free sausages
Canned beans, chickpeas and lentils enter the basket for the first time alongside meat-free sausages. The growth in vegetarianism and veganism, driven by both greater health and environmental consciousness, see these items make their debut into the basket.
Sports bra and crop top
The pandemic has helped to increase our awareness of fitness, with many people working out at home during lockdown periods. With this has come a rise in expenditure on sports clothing, so the sports bra and crop top extends the sportswear items in the basket.
This item already had a very low weight, but with sales of domestic coal being banned in 2023 as part of the government's actions to combat climate change, this item drops out of the basket in anticipation of this.
These annual changes are only a small percentage of the items sampled. This year we have added 19 items, removed 15 and left 715 unchanged.
Commenting on this year’s basket of goods, ONS head of economic statistics Sam Beckett said:
“The 2022 basket of goods sees some really interesting changes, with the impact of the pandemic still evident in our shopping habits. With many people still working from home, demand for more formal clothing has continued to decrease. So, men’s suits disappear from the basket and are replaced with a formal jacket or blazer.
“Last year’s lockdown living saw an increase in the number of us working out and exercising. That has continued into 2022 with the addition of the sports bra into the basket reflecting greater spending on sports clothing.”
“Today’s announcement is a key part of our long-term transformation of prices collection that is designed to keep the measurement of UK inflation as accurate and relevant as possible.”
More information on the basket of goods is at: Consumer price inflation basket of goods and services, 2022
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