Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/21/inflation_high_tech/

Writing paper ousted by laptops

Inflation index goes high tech

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Bootnotes, 21st March 2005 12:51 GMT

Laptops, mobile phones and frozen chicken nuggets have all made their way on to the UK's inflation index as part of the Office of National Statistics'(ONS) annual review.

The Consumer Price Index and Retail Price Index baskets are supposed to contain "goods and services bought by a typical household in the course of a year". Clearly, the ONS thinks we are a nation of mobile-phone-addicted, web-surfing, junk-food guzzlers. [Probably a fair point - Ed].

This year, disposable razors have made way for cartridge blade refills, and analogue camcorders and writing paper have been booted out by the laptop and mobile phone. DVDs, designed to represent online shopping, have also inveigled their way into the basket.

High tech items have traditionally been eschewed by the selectors for several reasons. Firstly, the products themselves change very rapidly, making year-on-year comparisons very tricky, and secondly, their prices don't behave normally. However, the Office of National Statistics says that after extensive research, it can now properly adjust the prices to account for changes in product quality.

The chicken-nugget-related news will come as a blow to celebrity chef Jamie "Essex" Oliver, as he is currently embarked on a campaign to make children eat more greens

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