What have bicycle helmets, flavoured water, soya milk and men’s base layer tops got in common? Alternatively, if that is too hard a question for you, try finding the connection between a child’s swing, alcopops and the fee levied by banks for stopping a cheque which has been written. The answer is not that you wish to cancel the cheque for a child’s swing which you bought after drinking too many alcopops. The products listed refer to the changes in the basket of goods and services which are used to calculate the Consumer Price Index, the UK Government’s preferred measure of inflation.
The bicycle helmets, flavoured water, soya milk and base layer tops are now sufficiently popular to enter the new basket of goods which was unveiled this week by the Office for National Statistics with these items representing a trend towards healthier living and particularly more cycling following GB success in the Olympics. However, before we can congratulate ourselves on our new fitness regime, it is worth noting that gin and fruit ciders are also now included in the basket. The second list of goods, along with menthol cigarettes, non-smart-phone mobile phones and the ever-popular (or now slightly less popular) single -drainer sink have all left the basket of goods and services.
About 700 goods and services are included in the basket and their prices are measured monthly both online and at 140 locations across the country in order to take into account different prices in different types of shops and gain an accurate picture of inflation in the UK.