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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 13:31 GMT
Condoms used to measure inflation
Condom vending machine
Condoms are not your typical inflationary measure
Condoms and the anti-impotency drug Viagra might be joining the shopping basket of items used by the Cypriot government to measure inflation.

Most nations have a list of products whose prices they track, but such items are traditionally more bread and butter - both literally and metaphorically.

Cyprus' state statistics department is also proposing to add hunting licences and vodka to its new list of items.

The UK's Office for National Statistics added champagne to its list this year.

Hair wax

A Cypriot statistics official said the department was planning to add condoms to its list to improve the quality of inflation data in the country, seen as the birth place of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

The UK's ONS now counts fizz consumption

"It was one of those items which was always under-represented by households so we got the data from the importers," he said.

The department is said to be preparing a list of 153 additional goods and services to be added to the list of products it uses to determine its cost of living or inflation index, according to the Greek-language Phileleftheros newspaper.

Other items up for consideration include the price of hair waxing, contact lenses, hair gel, hands-free mobile phone accessories, pay-TV subscriptions, blank CDs and a visit to the osteopath.

The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) updates its list every March and this year corned beef and cycle helmets were two of the products removed to make way for chicken nuggets, champagne and fizzy drinks.

In past years the ONS has added fishing rods and guitars while removing brown ale.

Bubbly joins 'UK shopping basket'
21 Mar 05 |  Business
'Shopping basket' snapshot of UK
16 Mar 04 |  Business
Brown ale makes way for latte
17 Mar 03 |  Business
Country profile: Cyprus
09 Nov 05 |  Country profiles

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