Tortilla wraps, green beans, mouthwash and frozen berries used to blend home-made smoothies have been added to consumer price inflation (CPI) basket while cooking apples and super-king-size cigarettes have been removed, shows the changes set out today (13) by Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), offering an insight into shifts in the public’s spending choices as tastes and technology change.
In total, the ONS said it was adding 26 items to the CPI basket and removing 16, while 717 will be left unchanged.
According to ONS, among the additions are tortilla wraps, green beans, men’s belts and mouthwash. Leaving the index are cooking apples and super-king-size cigarettes – though other types of apple and cigarette will remain.
The ONS said it will no longer collect prices for small digital cameras or some types of compact disc or DVD, as more Britons use their mobile phones to take photos and stream music and video.
However, battery-powered electric bikes and home security cameras similar to Amazon’s Ring video doorbells will join the index, the ONS 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,” ONS statistician Mike Hardie said.
Inflation is high on the public’s agenda, after surging energy prices pushed CPI to a 41-year high of 11.1 per cent in October.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said last week that controlling inflation would be one of the main themes of finance minister Jeremy Hunt’s annual budget this Wednesday.
The ONS will also massively expand the number of rail fares it checks to calculate average price rises. In future it will use an industry database with 30 million price points rather than an index calculated by a regulator.