UK Inflation: Walkmans, videos and rollerblades – this is what the basket of goods looked like last time inflation was this low
The last time inflation was this low, shoppers were still buying Walkmans, recording their favourite TV shows using a VHS recorder – and rollerblades were A Thing.
Prices rose just 0.5 per cent in December, the latest ONS figures reveal, the slowest rise since records began in 1989, and on a par with May 2000’s rate.
Back then, we’d just survived the non-event that was the Millennium Bug. In London, the Tate Modern opened, the Millenium Bridge opened, and then duly closed again, over safety fears. Further afield, Sydney hosted the Olympics.
There were also protests over the rising price of fuel, in stark contrast to today, when falling oil prices and fuel costs have eased the burden on cash-strapped consumers and are leading the fall in inflation.
Read more: A short history of nearly seven decades of the inflation basket of goods
Back in 2000, we might have thought the technology of the VHS recorder would never be bettered as the dotcom bubble burst. But, looking at the basket of goods used by the ONS to calculate prices now, we can see just how much technology has changed as smartphones and tablets have replaced the floppy disk and cassette player.
Rollerblades fell out of favour and are no longer included in the shopping basket, while over the last 14 years tastes have changed in other ways too. Football has replaced darts, sprouts are out and courgettes are in, while rainbow trout has been swapped for frozen prawns, pipe tobacco has been taken out in favour of menthols and garlic bread has been ditched while pitta bread has been added.