Economics

In the News

Alexa joins the Consumer Price Index!

Geoff Riley

11th March 2019

Smart speakers are in and envelopes are out of the revised basket of goods and services used to calculate the consumer price index.

According to the ONS, "Currently, around 180,000 separate price quotations are collected every month in compiling the indices, covering around 700 representative consumer goods and services."

Items added to the inflation index for 2019 include:

  • Baking trays
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut butter
  • Washing liquid gels
  • Flavoured tea
  • Home smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home
  • Dog treats

Items removed from the index include:

  • Washing powder
  • Envelopes
  • Dry dog food
  • Hi-Fi systems

The weightings used in the cost of living calculation have also been adjusted drawing on new data from the Family Expenditure Survey.

CPIH weight, Jan 2019 (per cent)

  • Food & non-alcoholic beverages 8.0
  • Alcohol & tobacco 3.2
  • Clothing & footwear 5.7
  • Housing & household services 29.8
  • Furniture & household goods 5.2
  • Health 2.2
  • Transport 12.4
  • Communication 2.0
  • Recreation & culture 12.5
  • Education 1.8
  • Restaurants & hotels 9.8
  • Miscellaneous goods & services 7.4

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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