UK government says goodbye sat navs, hello Xbox, e-cigs and Spotify

Official inflation index rings in the changes

Sat navs are officially dead. The UK's Office for National Statistics has dropped them from its basket of goods used to calculate inflation - a sad end to a once-leading tech product.

"'Sat navs' are being removed from the basket of goods this year, partly because many drivers now navigate using smart phones, but also because some new cars now come with sat navs built in," the agency announced, somewhat heartlessly.

On the plus side, from a tech standpoint, games consoles and music streaming services in the cloud are now included. So when the price of that Xbox rises, or Spotify is forced to pay artists more than a pittance for their work, you can expect it to have a small knock-on impact on the official UK inflation rate.

Also added for 2015 are mobile phone accessories (including headphones) - demonstrating that the smartphone really is king at the moment - as well as including e-cigarettes and craft beer.

Joining sat navs on the way out are: frozen pizza (apparently we like them fresh these days), yogurt drinks, cut flowers, and white emulsion paint. Yes, we now like a little color on our walls, so white has been replaced with "non-white" paint.

Digging through the list it looks as though other items may also find their way out soon. Contained in the same box (Recreational and Sporting Services) as game consoles is ten-pin bowling and horseracing admissions. And while we now have music streaming on board, it may only be a matter of time before "personal MP4 player" and "CDs, including CDs purchased over the internet" get booted.

You can find the full list of basket items at the end of the stats office's report [PDF] into the new inflation measures. Or if words aren't your thing, they've also done a nice infographic.


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