iPhones kill off 1990s favourites

CDs, cameras and alcopops removed from ONS inflation 'shopping basket' and replaced by e-bikes, frozen berries and home security camera

By: News Desk
Published: 10:22 PM, 13 Mar, 2023
iPhones kill off 1990s favourites
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Compact discs, compact cameras and alcopops were binned by stats experts today as their impact on society finally wanes due to the impact of smartphones, a UK paper reports.

The once-popular music recording system and the sugary bottled booze were removed from the inflationary 'shopping basket' of economically significant items by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Compact digital cameras have also been removed as smartphones that take pictures and play music become increasingly ubiquitous, impacting sales.

Taking their places come e-bikes, frozen berries used in health smoothies and home security camera systems, reflecting the health and security priorities of middle England and Generation Z.

The 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."

The virtual basket contains over 700 carefully selected items representative of the goods and services that consumers typically spend their money on.

Some items are removed from the basket, some are brought in, while others remain unchanged. 

This annual update reflects the changing tastes and habits of UK consumers and maintains the accuracy and relevance of ONS inflation estimates.

Not all CDS will be removed - just those that don't make the Top 40 chart.

In total, 26 have been added this year, while 16 have been removed and 717 left unchanged. 

Among the other changes is the removal of tampons from the basket. But they are being replaced by sanitary towels 'reflecting the changing trends for feminine hygiene products'.

Other items removed include super king-sized cigarettes and separate categories for red wine produced in New World and Old World vineyards, which will now just be counted as 'red wine'.

The rate of Consumer Prices Index inflation fell to 10.1 per cent in January from 10.5 per cent in December, the ONS said last month.

Falling petrol and diesel prices contributed to the slight decline, but the cut in fuel costs was offset by a surge in the price of alcoholic drinks and cigarettes'.

It was the third month in a row inflation had fallen, with February's figure due out next week, after Wednesday's Budget.

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