Cost of pandemic living in inflation basket
By Rob Freeman | 16th March 2021
Changing habits during the coronavirus pandemic will be reflected in the goods used to calculate the cost of living.
Hand sanitiser, hand weights, women's sweatshirts and men's jogging bottoms are among the items introduced into the annual review of the basket used by the Office for National Statistics.
Working from home has seen sandwiches bought at work removed from the basket.
Other items introduced into the basket include smartwatches plus WiFi lightbulbs plus hybrid and electric cars.
Changing taste has seen white chocolate bars replaced by Maltesers and coffee sachets taking the place of ground coffee while Axminster and Wilton carpets, mainly bought for commercial spaces, have been removed.
ONS head of economic statistics Sam Beckett said: "These annual changes are only a small percentage of the items sampled.
"This year we've added 17 items, removed 10 and left 729 unchanged."
The changes will be used for the first time for the next inflation figures which are published on March 24.
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