Fizz, Flash and Frozen – what has changed in the inflation basket?
The current shopping habits of consumers have been revealed in the 2023 CPI virtual basket of goods and services report.
Some of the notable changes according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) sees the inclusion of frozen berries, representing frozen fruit – the first time this category has been covered in the baskets.
Alcopops have been removed from the basket, with the low-weighted item fizzling out now restaurants, cafes and pubs are over-represented in the basket, state the ONS.
The inflation basket features more than 700 goods and services, as the prices of various items change over time, so does the total cost of the basket. Within each calendar year, the basket contents are fixed so that changes in the indices from month to month reflect only changes in prices, and not variations in the quality and quantity of items purchased.
The contents of the basket and associated expenditure weights are updated annually. This year the ONS has added 26 items, removed 16 and left 717 unchanged.
In the 2023 shopping basket some items are removed – including non-chart CDs and digital compact cameras, while items added in range from e-bikes to home security cameras.
According to the ONS, the influence of the pandemic on the basket, which has been “obvious” over the last couple of years, has faded from consumers’ shopping habits in 2023. This year’s changes point to the evolving choices of consumers, the rise of new technology and an increasing awareness of our health and environment.
ONS Deputy Director of Prices Transformation, Mike Hardie said: “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.
“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.
“As well as regular changes to the basket, our new data source for rail fares will see a big improvement in our calculation for rail fares, which form part of our wider transformation plans to move away from physical price collection and introduce new, bigger data sources in coming years.”