Inflation basket to get major shakeup

Inflation basket to get major shakeup Credit: Pixabay

For some time now critics have said that the basket used to calculate inflation in the UK was no longer appropriate, prompting the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to announce a major shakeup.

The ONS has acknowledged that lifestyles and therefore patterns of expenditure have changed, affected by amongst others the pandemic and its impact on working practices.

The most notable is the shift away from work wear to exercise gear, as more and more people work from home and more and more people look to a healthier lifestyle. Disappearing from the basket are men’s suits, being replaced by sports blazers and jackets. Appearing in the basket are sports bras, an increasingly popular item driven by increased activity and changing clothing styles.

Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said the latest reconfiguration showed: “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.”

Joining the list are antibacterial products which sees surface wipes added, as are dog and cat collars driven by the increased pet ownership during the pandemic.

“Green” changes are also evident with the increasing adoption of vegan and vegetarian diets resulting canned beans, chickpeas and lentils, as well as meat free sausages, being added. Less environmentally friendly items such as coal also disappear. .

The changes to the inflation basket are relatively small with 19 items added, 15 removed 715 unchanged.

The inflation basket is always a bone of contention with many looking to the ONS to undertake a bigger shakeup to more accurately reflect expenditure in the average household, the belief being that the inflation rate is higher than what is being reflected in the statistics.

The ONS has also announced a change in the way the inflation rate is calculated and has also announced that it will also make a personal calculator available to allow people to work out their own personal experience.

Perhaps most important in the announcement are the efforts being made to source data directly from supermarket retailers tills, the plan being to have this in place by 2024.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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