Published On: Mon, Mar 11th, 2024

Guinness and hand sanitiser removed from list used to measure inflation | Personal Finance | Finance

Vinyl records are back in the basket of goods used to measure inflation, but a pint of Guinness in a pub and bottles of hand sanitiser are out, say official statisticians. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has decided to remove these items, but is bringing back vinyl to its list after 32 years, and also adding air fryers.

Every month, the ONS checks how prices are going up or down for British households. To do this, they need to know what people usually buy.

They use a “basket” of over 740 different goods and services that they think people purchase. But as times change, so does what people buy, and the ONS has to update their list.

For example, in 1992, when CDs and cassettes were getting popular, the ONS took vinyl records off the list. Now, more than three decades later, vinyl is back in fashion and is on the list for this year, while cassette tapes are nowhere to be seen.

Another new addition to the list is the air fryer, which people have been buying because of the energy crisis. Manufacturers say air fryers are a lower-energy way of cooking.

There’s good news as hand sanitisers are taken off the shopping list. They were put on in 2021 because of Covid-19, but now they’re gone.

Some things are taken off the list not because we buy them less, but because the people who check prices don’t need to watch them anymore.

That’s what happened with Guinness. This year, they stopped checking the price of draught stout because it usually changes just like draught bitter does.

We’re also adding new things to the list like gluten-free bread, rice cakes, seeds, and women’s socks.

But we’re saying goodbye to popcorn, cooked ham, rotisserie chicken, sofa beds, and baking stuff.

Matt Corder from the ONS says: “Our inflation basket of goods offers a fascinating snapshot of consumer spending through the years.”

“Often the basket reflects the adoption of new technology, but the return of vinyl records shows how cultural revivals can affect our spending.”

“We are also seeing the impact of the pandemic fading from the basket with the removal of hand sanitiser due to decreased demand.”

“Healthier lifestyle products continue to influence consumer choice reflected by the addition of the air fryer, spray oils and rice cakes as well as sunflower and pumpkin seeds.”

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