CPI Basket of Goods: Inflation calculation to include gin, lactose-free drinks, bike helmets, and half-chocolate biscuits

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Independent – Josie Co 

Published: March 14th, 2017

Difficulty rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Credibility rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Preview

Every year, the Office for National Statistics updated the representative ‘basket of goods’ used to determine consumer price inflation.  The article outlines some items in particular that have either been added to, or removed from the basket with brief explanations.

Author

 Josie Cox is currently a journalist for Forbes, with particular interest in business, economics, and the future of work.  Her previous experience includes positions with Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and serving as business editor of The Independent.

Sources

  • The Office for National Statistics

Analysis of Potential Bias

The author shows no opinion regarding the changes made to the basket of goods.  However, an example of where the author’s presentation could be considered misleading is when she mentions brake pads being removed from the basket of goods.  In much smaller print, as a caption on a figure, it is mentioned that brake pads will still be included, but are now part of the ‘spare parts’ category, as opposed to being itemized by themselves.

Article Decryption

The ONS regularly updates the representative basket of goods that is used to determine consumer price inflation.  The basket is updated to make sure the items included are representative of current consumer patterns and preferences.

The goods selected are chosen to represent a variety of retail outlets to avoid potential bias in calculations as consumer habits fluctuate.  

The article concludes with several figures accompanied by brief explanations of the inclusion or exclusion of various items including: brake pads, bottled apple cider, and children’s scooters.

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