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I’ll take the charcuterie, but only the full-price champagne, please

charc & champ

A City AM story reports that the cost of living index now takes account of the price of charcuterie meats, but no longer of champagne when it is on sale.  The Office of National Statistics looks at a basket of goods to help it track changes in the cost of living for average families, and its changes each year give us a snapshot of changing lifestyles.  This year full-price champagne remains in, but cut-price champagne is out.  Also newly included are spreadable butter, e-books and e-readers.  I’m glad that blueberries are now included with other berries in the basket, though not at all surprised that freeview boxes and computer games bundled with accessories have dropped out.  It is actually surprising how many things do make it into the basket, from dehydrated noodles to golf green fees.

The basket does actually matter, as well as telling us about what people now buy, because the Bank of England’s inflation target is based on the Consumer Price Index, and sometimes things such as pensions and wages are adjusted in line with its changes.

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