[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 11:52 GMT
Sat nav guide to inflation basket
Sat nav system
Sat nav systems are no longer the preserve of cab drivers
Sat nav, small flat-panel TVs and mobile ringtones have replaced video recorders, portable TVs and ghetto blasters in the UK's shopping baskets.

The annual review of spending on key items, used to gauge inflation, has given its usual fascinating insight into changing consumer trends.

Olive oil and electric fans are added to the "inflation basket", replacing Brussels sprouts and vegetable oil.

Spending on an item has to reach a certain level before it is included.

Radio frequency

Other diverse additions to the 2007 basket include digital radios, courgettes, and fizzy drinks bought from vending machines.

Expenditure on credit card charges and mortgage arrangement fees have also been recognised for the first time, reflecting the continued strength of the property market.

Flat-panel TVs
Flat panel TVs
Mobile ringtones
Digital radios
Credit card charges

On the other hand, goods which were once a symbol of technological progress, such as the Walkman cassette player and the 35mm compact camera, have disappeared.

Brie, once a regular feature of upmarket picnics, has also been excluded along with children's wellington boots, non-designer sunglasses and the outdoor plant pot.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) monitors the cost of about 650 goods and services as a basis for compiling the consumer prices index (CPI) and the retail prices index (RPI).

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts
VHS cassette players
Non-designer sunglasses

These spending trends are highly significant, because the RPI is used to calculate increases in pensions and other benefits, while the government uses CPI as its inflation target and influences the level of interest rates.

Popular consumer gizmos are conspicuous by their presence this year, with sat nav devices and mobile ringtones following digital cameras - present since 2004 - into the basket.

"Spending on sat nav systems has now reached a level that demands their inclusion," a spokesman for the ONS said.

"Video cassette recorders drop out of the basket, reflecting falling spending as households switch to DVD recorders."

The changing face of the British shopping basket

Mobile trends of 2007
16 Feb 07 |  Click
Seasonal shoppers go for sat-nav
03 Nov 06 |  Business
Drivers warned of sat-nav thefts
17 Jun 06 |  Hampshire
Will digital kill the radio star?
19 Feb 07 |  Technology

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific