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Spotify and gaming subscriptions now help the UK measure inflation

Matt Brian, @m4tt
March 17, 2015
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Every year, the UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS) names a list of products and services that enables it measure what consumers are spending their money on. Things like alcohol, clothing and furniture are typical items included in what's known as the "basket of goods," but the list has evolved over the years as Brits continue to embrace technology. This year, for instance, the ONS taken the decline of traditional media into consideration and decided to add streaming music services. Spotify will now join video streaming services (Netflix et al.) in the basket, which were incorporated for the first time last year.

Also making the list for the first time are computer game subscription services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live, and e-cigarettes, which represent the shift to vaping from traditional cigarettes. Headphones and mobile phone accessories are the final tech-centric products to be brought in. In order to make way for these new items, however, some need to be taken out. Satellite navigation (Sat Nav) devices are being forced to wave goodbye as drivers switch to their smartphone or enjoy the built-in controls in newer cars. Smartphones and tablets are already being monitored, of course, but now your gaming and music habits will help determine the value of the pound in your pocket.

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