For the first time ever, men’s suits are no longer part of the average consumer basket used to calculate inflation in the UK. The Office for National Statistics tracks a select list of 700 typical goods and services (the ‘basket’) to measure the cost of living.
It has just announced its 2022 list, which no longer includes men’s suits, despite them having been a staple item since the basket began in 1947.
Changes to the basket
The changes in the 2022 basket reflect the ways our lives have changed over the past three years due to the pandemic.
As more of us work from home, sales of men’s suits have fallen. And because we’re not buying lunch near our offices, doughnut sales are down too. We’re spending more on our pets, more on vegetarian and plant-based foods, and more on antibacterial wipes. We’re exercising more, and doing more at-home activities. Here are some of the changes to the latest basket.
No longer in the basket:
- Men’s suits
- Domestic coal (domestic sales will be banned in the UK in 2023)
- Double beds (replaced by king sized beds)
Now included in the basket:
- Men’s blazers
- Meat-free sausages, chickpeas and lentils
- Antibacterial surface wipes
- Sports bras/crop tops
- Pet collars
You can read more about the new basket here.
Keeping up with our changing lifestyles
Each country’s basket of inflation goods is a nice snapshot of current lifestyles – and if working from home continues to be prevalent, these changes could be permanent. It’s worth thinking about how your business could be impacted by new spending habits if they continue in the long run.
If you felt like doing some scenario forecasting, we can help, so do get in touch – from the office or from home!