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Vinyl records return to inflation basket – but Guinness is out

Vinyl records return to inflation basket – but Guinness is out
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced the latest shake-up of goods used in the inflation ‘basket’.

In 2024, 16 items have been added to the basket for the Consumer Price Index (CPI), including owner-occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), and 15 items have been removed out of a total of 744 items.

The same changes have been made to the CPI and Retail Price Index (RPI) baskets.

Additions alongside vinyl music include air fryers, gluten-free bread, and edible sunflower seeds. Removals include Guinness, hand hygiene gel, hot rotisserie-cooked chicken, and bakeware.

Consumer price inflation is the rate at which the prices of goods and services bought by households rise or fall. Inflation figures are calculated based on a ‘shopping basket’ of certain goods and services.

As the prices of the various items change over time, so does the total cost of the basket. Movements in consumer price indices represent this change.

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. However, the contents of the basket and associated expenditure weights are updated each year.

Laura Suter, director of personal finance at AJ Bell, said: “The key takeaway from this year is that the pandemic is officially in the rearview mirror, as hand sanitiser is removed from the list of the most popular items we all buy. At the same time, rising energy costs have altered our spending habits, with air fryers now making it into the basket, as people looked for cheaper ways to cook.

“There’s always an interesting lens on how our eating habits have changed – last year we saw more vegan items added, and this year gluten-free items are rising in popularity, with gluten-free bread added to the basket. And the nation has clearly been on a health kick, with rice cakes, seeds and spray oil being added – all a nod to healthier eating. One of the more random removals is a hot rotisserie chicken, with many supermarkets not selling them anymore, meaning the price data aren’t as reliable. Popcorn is another item that’s been consigned to the bin, perhaps reflecting the fact that fewer people are going to the cinema.

“While last year saw some CDs and DVDs booted out of the basket, seemingly retro items can have a revival and reappear. That’s the case for vinyl records this year, which have seen a resurgence in popularity and made it back into the basket.”

We’ll see the impact of these changes to the inflation basket next week when the next set of inflation data is released. The markets, Government and the Bank of England will be hoping for a significant drop in the figures to get closer to the 2% target.

Related: Food price inflation falls to lowest level in two years