Smart speakers to Help Determine Inflation Rate
Smart speakers are now included in the basket of goods used to measure the movement of prices.
18:17 13 March 2019
Smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo, have just been added to the basket of goods use to measure price movements of 700 goods and services. The information is used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to determine inflation rate.
The latest annual review included bakeware, which reflected the success of TV programmes, such as the Great British Bake Off. Meanwhile, envelopes were removed from the list as more and more people move towards electronic communication, rather than writing traditional letters. Other items added to the list are flavoured tea and electric toothbrushes.
Approximately 180,000 prices are measured in 20,000 UK outlets to calculate inflation, which is used as a benchmark for our finances.
ONS senior statistician Philip Gooding said: "We want to reflect modern spending habits, and the alterations we have made highlight shifting consumer behaviour, whether that is in technology, the home, or the way we communicate with one another.
"It is important to remember that we change a small percentage of the overall basket."