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Smartphones and apps now included in UK inflation rate calculations

The worldwide smartphone sales explosion and app download binge has led to the Office for National Statistics now including them in their inflation rate calculations.

No longer are ringtones and wallpaper involved in the monthly ONS collections, a clear indicator that applications and smartphones have become crucial tech products.

The ONS uses the collected prices, usually 180000 items a month to create the Consumer Prices Index and Retail Prices Index.

“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” said ONS statistician Phil Gooding.

Other technology has also seen a change in the way that the ONS collects and groups prices. Televisions for example are now to be measured differently, with the price of anything set above 32” measure separately.

The 650 item ‘basket’ of items is updated annually by the ONS and is used to reflect changing habits in public spending.

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