New goods basket to measure prices

Julian Harris
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DATING websites and smart phone applications are among new items included in the calculation of UK inflation rates, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed yesterday.

The “basket of goods” used to measure changes in prices reflects technological shifts in Britons’ spending habits. Out go mobile phone downloads (such as ring-tones and wallpapers) and in come smart phone “apps”.

Similarly, oven-ready joints of meat are replacing the traditional butcher-prepared pork shoulder, as people move towards convenience foods.

Large flat screen televisions are also being added, along with sparkling wines. “People still want to enjoy themselves,” the ONS said.

Cigarette vending machines are out, as are rose bushes, the ONS said.