Feeds

Stats-crunchers toss ebooks into Blighty's 2013 inflation basket

Leave Freeview box and champers balanced on sweeties rack by the till

Top three mobile application threats

The Office for National Statistics has added ebooks to the basket of goods and services used to calculate Britian's rate of inflation, while Freeview boxes have been tipped out.

The ONS said that ebooks were needed in the shopping basket that represents the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI) in the UK, as they were a "significant and growing market" in the country.

Freeview boxes got the boot in favour of digital television recorders/receivers more generally - which includes all kinds of set-top boxes, including PVRs, now that the digital switchover has been completed.

Technology is a growing category in the stats-crunchers' calculations, with tablets added last year and newer services like DVD rental internet subscriptions - under "cultural services" - also featuring in the basket.

Luxury food items have also filled spaces in the basket for this year, with hot chocolate, blueberries, continental-style deli meats and prepackaged prechopped vegetables for stir-fry all selling well to the time-poor and deep-pocketed. In alcohol, white rum is on the up, a statistic the ONS links to increasing numbers of young drinkers, while champagne has been taken out of the cart altogether as its sales continue to decline.

The Office updates the shopping list annually to try to accurately portray what folks are spending their money on and thereby calculate how much prices are rising or falling. The notional basket currently contains around 700 items.

The latest results in January showed the CPI was at 2.7 per cent for the fourth consecutive month, while the RPI was 3.3 per cent.

The ONS also said it would be introducing two new measures of inflation next week, the RPIJ (the J is for Jevons Average*) and the CPIH (the H is for "harmonisation"). The first is a statistical adjustment, changing the existing RPI to use a geometric method of averaging price change, which would have made the December figure 2.5 per cent instead of 3.1 per cent. The CPIH, meanwhile, will add owner-occupiers' housing costs to the existing CPI, which using this index would have been 2.5 per cent in December versus the CPI's 2.7 per cent. ®

* William Jevons was a Brit economist who in 1863 proposed using price indices calculated using geometric averages. He wrote some interesting works on index number theory, as well as on production and taxation in British coal-mining trade. Here's a historic diss from the 1875 edition of The Economist, which described him as "hopeful" for believing information on the staple articles of household consumption would be "of any use in practice".

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.