E-bikes and frozen berries to help track inflation

The Office for national Statistics (ONS) has unveiled changes to the basket of goods and services it uses to measure inflation.

Items removed from the basket include alcopops, non-chart CDs and digital cameras, whilst e-bikes, home security cameras and frozen berries have been added.

The virtual basket contains items that consumers typically spend their money on to help maintain the accuracy of inflation estimates.

The ONS has removed 26 items, added 16 and left 717 goods and services unchanged, with the changes reflecting the new habits and tastes of UK shoppers.

The ONS also announced that it will use Rail Delivery Group as a data source for rail fares, which will provide the ONS with over 30 million price points and provide a better understanding of how fares are changing.

The organisation said this is part of its wider transformation plans which will see it will rely more on big data and price intelligence from new sources, including supermarket scanner data and info scraped directly from retailer websites, rather than physical price collection.

”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,” said ONS deputy director of prices transformation Mike Hardie. “With many people looking to reduce their impact on the environment, we have also introduced e-bikes, whose popularity has risen significantly in recent years.”

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