Vinyl records are now so hot they move UK inflation

Vinyl records are now so hot they move UK inflation - Arts and Culture - News

Vinyl Records Make a Comeback in UK Inflation Statistics: A Cultural Revival and New Trends

The inclusion of vinyl records in the UK inflation statistics marks a significant milestone, as this format has seen a remarkable resurgence among British consumers. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced on Monday the addition of 16 new items and the removal of 15 from its basket of over 700 goods and services used to measure inflation.

Deputy Director for Prices Matt Corder at the ONS stated, “Our inflation basket of goods offers a fascinating snapshot of consumer spending through the years. The return of vinyl records shows how cultural revivals can influence our daily expenditures.” This change is essential because the contents of the notional shopping basket form the basis for calculating the Consumer Price Index, which influences decisions regarding interest rates set by the Bank of England.

Since 1992, Long Playing Records (LPs), which had previously been included in the UK inflation basket but disappeared due to the rise of CDs and cassettes, have made a strong comeback. In 2021, an impressive 6.1 million vinyl records were sold in the UK, marking the highest number since 1990 according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The most popular vinyl record was Taylor Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version).”

Jo Twist, CEO of the BPI, explained, “Vinyl is a popular indicator of how people are spending their money on culture and entertainment. This much-loved format has experienced consistent growth for nearly two decades, capturing the interest of consumers from various age groups and backgrounds.”

In addition to vinyl records, other new items added to the inflation basket reflect trends toward healthier lifestyles, such as air fryers, rice cakes, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, spray oils, and gluten-free bread. Air fryer sales have increased by over 30% between 2021 and 2022, and the ONS noted a rise in expenditure on gluten-free products due to their increasing shelf space.

The ONS also reported that hand sanitizer has been removed from the measure, as demand for it has decreased since the end of the pandemic. Sofa beds were also taken out due to a drop in popularity. By rebalancing the basket, the ONS aims to widen coverage or eliminate items where a specific type may be overrepresented, like “bakeware,” which includes baking trays and roasting tins. The ONS stated that price movements for bakeware follow a similar pattern to those of the frying pan, making it an unnecessary addition in the basket.