Smartphones Join "Shopping Basket" Essentials

The Office of National Statistics has included smartphones and apps to their "shopping basket" of goods used to establish the Consumer Prices Index and Retail Prices Index.

The ONS includes 650 products in its basket and compares 180,000 prices for them to gauge inflation and spending levels. Officials said that the inclusion of smartphones reflected the change in technology trends.

ONS statistician Phil Gooding said "Many of these new items show the way technology is changing our lives. Powerful smartphones and the applications that run on them have become essential for many when communicating or seeking information."

Mobile phone downloads such as wallpaper and ring tones have been replaced by the phone applications.

The new basket also includes dating agency fees "because with the spread of the internet, online dating sites are becoming an increasingly common way for people to find a partner".

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