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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 11:42 GMT
'Shopping basket' snapshot of UK
Anglers
Fishing rods have been used to calculate the UK inflation rate
Fishing rods, guitars, football boots, and regional cheeses have all made it into the "basket of goods" that is used to measure UK inflation.

The Office for National Statistics said gin, frozen turkey slices, and exercise bikes were on their way out "to reflect changing tastes and spending patterns".

The ONS changes its 650-strong basket of goods and services once a year to include more up-to-date items.

New items are added to the basket to represent increased areas of spending.

Changing fashions

Traditional hobby items such as fishing rods, guitars, and football boots, have been added, showing their long-lasting appeal.

Shopping basket
IN
Lamb mince
Fresh turkey steaks
Regional cheese
Men's sports sweatshirt
Electric heater
Acoustic guitar
Fishing rod
Men's football boots
Basic manicure

OUT

Gin
Cheese slices
Exercise bike
Local newspaper
Mini-disc player
Wine glass
Toaster
Child's fleece jacket
Frozen turkey

The new basket of goods has been used to calculate the February inflation rate, announced on Tuesday.

However, other items have been deleted as spending on them has fallen.

Graham Bateman, deputy director of the Gin and Vodka Association, said the decision to drop gin had not come as a shock as it was out of favour among younger drinkers compared with vodka.

He said: "Gin is not losing its popularity and sales are still going up, albeit slowly. But over the past 10 years it has not had the sales increase of vodka."

Meanwhile, mini-discs, which only made the index in 2001 have been dropped, an indication of the popularity of MP3 players.

Manicures have been added to the basket, indicating the UK's attraction to beauty treatments.

Other changes have seen tablets for dishwashers replacing powder, and whole frozen turkeys are out in favour of fresh turkey breasts.


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