Sprouts binned from national 'shopping basket'But sat-nav systems and broccoli make the list

19 March 2007

Broccoli and recordable DVDs are edging Brussels sprouts and blank video tapes out of the average British shopping basket, data out today shows.

The nation's changing tastes are reflected in the Office for National Statistics' list of goods used to measure inflation.

Sat-nav systems and mobile phone downloads are included in the latest ONS 'shopping basket' list for the first time.

Olive oil, probiotic drinks, courgettes and broccoli are the four food items to enter the new ONS list.

Vegetable oil, brie and Brussels sprouts have been dropped.

Digital radios

Digital radios make an appearance in the shopping basket for the first time. Combined radio, CD and cassette players have been elbowed out.

Old-style 'deep' widescreen televisions and portable TVs are no longer included while small flat panel TVs have entered the list.

The ONS shopping basket of around 650 goods and services is reviewed each year on the basis of consumer spending.

Fizzy drinks from vending machines and meals sold on trains, ferries and planes have joined the basket.

The switch from video cassettes to DVDs has seen recordable DVDs replace blank VHS tapes. VHS video players have been dropped.

Digital cameras - included in the list since 2004 - are now joined by digital processing, which replaces mail order film developing.

Credit card and mortgage fees

Credit card charges and mortgage arrangement fees are included for the first time.

Other de-listed items include 35mm compact cameras, children's Wellington boots, sunglasses and outdoor pot plants.

Describing its annual changes, the ONS said: 'Some items enter the basket because spending on them has reached a level that demands inclusion to ensure that the basket represents consumer spending.

'Some are included to make collection easier or to improve coverage of particular categories.'

The ONS included diamond solitaire rings in place of gemstone cluster rings this year because it was easier to collect their prices.

Shopping basket

Its 650-item shopping basket is used to compile two monthly inflation indicators: the consumer price index (CPI) and the retail prices index.

The list is divided into 10 different categories, each of which is weighted to reflect the proportion of consumer spending which it attracts.

Increased gas and electricity prices over the past year have pushed up the 'basket weight' for fuel and light up from 3.3 per cent to 3.9 per cent this year.

Falling prices mean the food basket's weight has dropped from 16.7 per cent to 10.5 per cent.

The weighting allocated to the clothing and footwear basket dipped from 7.4 per cent to 4.4 per cent due to falling prices.

The Bank of England uses the CPI as its inflation target.

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