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NEWS

Vinyl revival rocks Britain’s inflation basket

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – Vinyl records will re-enter Britain’s inflation charts for the first time in 32 years this month, as part of the annual shake-up of the basket of goods and services used to calculate the pace of price rises.

The change in the Office for National Statistics’ inflation basket offers a snapshot of shifts in Britons’ tastes and needs.

“Often the basket reflects the adoption of new technology, but the return of vinyl records shows how cultural revivals can affect our spending,” ONS statistician Matt Corder said.

Records return to the inflation basket for the first time since 1992, joining compact discs, music streaming subscriptions and digital downloads after a resurgence in demand for more tangible forms of music.

Leaving the basket this year is hand sanitiser, as the ONS reported “a vast reduction in shelf space dedicated to this product as demand has fallen since the pandemic”.

Hot rotisserie chickens also left the basket, as some supermarkets discontinued the product in favour of freshly cooked chicken thighs and legs for the lunchtime food market.

Joining the basket are air fryers – small countertop electric ovens that aim to replace a deep-fat fryer, minus the oil – which the ONS said had seen a 30% rise in demand between 2021 and 2022.

Other signs of a trend towards healthier or more fastidious eating include the addition of sprayable cooking oil, rice cakes and gluten-free bread.

In total, the ONS added 16 items and removed 15 from the basket of 744 different goods and services.

 

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Ros Russell)

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