Changing consumer buying habits mean that tracking inflation is often an act of measuring tastes and trends, too. As such, the UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS) does a yearly audit of what consumers are splashing the cash on. And, as Brits (like those around the world) increasingly lean towards digital services as preferred to physical items, this year's Consumer Price Index "basket of goods" now includes Spotify and Xbox Live subscriptions.
"With the decrease in the popularity of traditional media, music streaming services — such as Spotify — are being included for the first time, as are online console computer games subscriptions," reads the ONS press release.
"In addition, headphones which many people now buy for use with games consoles or as an upgrade to the free pairs that come with smart phones are being added to the basket of goods. Alongside this, mobile phone accessories — such as chargers and covers — are also being added."
Also added to the the list are e-cigarettes, craft beers and protein powders for buffed-up gym goers, while sat-navs (considered now replaced by smartphone apps) and yoghurt drinks have been removed. It's a fascinating look at our changing society, and one that's increasingly tech-orientated; remember that the CPI once listed mens and ladies hats as essentials in its basket. [ONS]