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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 16:55 GMT
Bubbly joins 'UK shopping basket'
Champagne
Adding some fizz to inflation figures
Frozen chicken nuggets, fizzy drinks and champagne are among the new items in the shopping basket studied by official inflation watchers this year.

Britons are spending more money on these products, enough that they can be used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to measure inflation.

Corned beef and cycle helmets have been ejected from the basket.

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.

Evolving tastes

Though fizzy drinks are in, diet aid drinks are out and Brits are also splashing out more money on champagne.

SHOPPING BASKET
IN
Frozen chicken nuggets
Wooden patio set
Frying pan
Laptop computers
Small pets
Cinema popcorn
ATM charges
Champagne
Gardeners' fees
Home delivery charges

OUT

Baguettes
Corned beef
Diet aid drink
Plastic patio set
Smoke alarm
Upholstered settee
Single serve cat food
Gold bangles
Disposable razors

Britons also have a more discerning taste when it comes to gardening.

Gardeners' fees have entered the basket and wooden patio sets have usurped plastic versions, the ONS said.

Two high tech entries are mobile handsets and laptop computers, which join the list for the first time.

The annual review considers not only the basket of representative goods but also where they were bought. To reflect this, internet purchases of DVDs and vending-machine sales of cigarettes have been added.




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