20 March 2006

Retail signs of the times

The UK retail price index is tracked by monitoring a 'basket' of typical household purchases. The Office of National Statistics revises the products in the basket annually, and in so doing provides a snapshot of changes in consumer behaviour, albeit one that's not easy to interpret.

Changes announced today include the exlusion of CD players, and replacement with MP3 players. Music downloads and digital cameras have been included, but PC printers removed. More prosaically, slippers and chocolate coated biscuits have been removed. But before you conclude we're ceasing to be nation of couch potatoes, curling up with cocoa and biscuits, note that exercise bikes have also been deleted from the list.

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