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eBooks added to the ONS inflation basket

Released: 12 March 2013 Download PDF

eBooks, read on eReaders such as Kindles, have been added to the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation, as part of the annual basket review. eBooks represent a significant and growing market, with recent increases in the number of people reading books digitally.

Also on the technology front, digital television recorder/receivers, including personal video recorders (PVRs), are replacing standard Freeview receiver boxes.

Continental sliced deli type meats (charcuterie) have been added to the basket, along with blueberries, hot chocolate and packaged vegetables for a stir-fry. Off-sales of white rum are also being added to cover spirits that are drunk by younger people better. However, on-sales of champagne have been taken out of the basket as the amount of champagne drunk continues to fall.

On the DIY front, self-assembly kitchen wall units are being added to the basket to improve coverage of furniture, while basin taps are being removed.

Packs of daily disposable contact lenses are also entering the basket, replacing a pair of soft contact lenses, reflecting changes in the type of contact lenses consumers use.

Background notes

  1. For the full article on the annual review of the basket of goods and services see: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/user-guidance/prices/cpi-and-rpi/cpi-and-rpi-basket-of-goods-and-services/cpi-and-rpi-2013-basket-of-goods-and-services.pdf
  2. ONS is also releasing a historic series for the new CPIH inflation index today. CPIH is a new additional measure of consumer price inflation which includes owner occupiers’ housing costs. The historic series and accompanying article are available here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/user-guidance/prices/cpi-and-rpi/introducing-the-new-cpih-measure-of-consumer-price-inflation.pdf
  3. A historic back series is also being released for the new RPIJ index. RPIJ is being introduced following the National Statistician’s consultation on the ‘formula effect’ gap between CPI and RPI. RPIJ is similar to the RPI, except that it averages prices changes using the geometric mean (Jevons), rather than one type of arithmetic mean (Carli) used in the RPI. The historic series and accompanying article are available here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/user-guidance/prices/cpi-and-rpi/introducing-the-new-rpij-measure-of-consumer-price-inflation.pdf
  4. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
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