Leggings, quiche, and GoPro cameras: Here's what the ONS is now using to calculate the UK's cost of living

  • The ONS updated its basket of goods on Tuesday.
  • The basket is used to calculate the rate of consumer price inflation in the UK.
  • Items such as women’s exercise leggings and GoPros were added.
  • Lager bought in nightclubs and peaches were removed.

LONDON – Quiche, women’s exercise leggings, and GoPro action cameras are now being used by the Office for National Statistics to measure how prices in the UK are changing, the statistical authority said on Tuesday.

The ONS monitors the price of various goods and services – everything from milk to music downloads – to create a “virtual shopping basket” meant to typify the average Brits’ spending.

Changes in price of those goods are then used to calculate the UK’s headline consumer price inflation figure.

The CPI basket also shows how times change, with goods added and removed depending on their popularity at any given time.

Every March the ONS updates that basket, and this year items added included “women’s exercise leggings,” “action cameras such as GoPros,” and quiche, the egg-based savoury tart. Raspberries and media devices such as Google Chromecasts have also been added.

Preprepared mashed potato was also added to the basket “some 30 years after dried mashed potato left,” the ONS said.

“With more and more soft play areas opening across the UK, adult-supervised soft play sessions have been introduced to the basket for the first time,” the ONS added.

Leaving the basket are – among other things – pork pies, edam cheese, lager bought in nightclubs, and peaches

“Every year we add new items to the basket to ensure that it reflects modern spending habits. We also update the weight each item has to ensure the overall inflation numbers reflect shoppers’ experiences of inflation,” ONS senior statistician Philip Gooding said in a statement.

“However, while we add and remove a number of items each year, the overall change is actually quite small. This year we changed 36 items out of a total basket of 714.”

Last year’s changes to the inflation basket included the addition of cycle helmets and gin, while menthol cigarettes were removed.

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