The formal suit is out, and the likes of sports bras and dog collars are in, as the rise of home working continues to have an effect on the UK’s official ‘basket of goods’ used to measure inflation.
In the Office for National Statistics’ latest update to the basket, men’s suits have been removed, although a formal jacket or blazer has been included as the smart menswear representative.
At the same time, a pandemic boom in pet ownership has led to the ONS including pet collars in the basket, while higher interest in health and fitness has seen sports bras and climbing sessions added as well.
According to the Times, the ONS had felt that sports and recreation services were previously underrepresented in its inflation calculations.
On the food front, the single doughnut has been kicked out of the basket, as consumers were now buying more multipack treats to last themselves through several days working at home.
Canned pulses and meatless sausages were also making their premieres in the basket, while antibacterial wipes were also being included.
Atlases, dictionaries and thesauruses were removed as Britons were sourcing information almost exclusively online, and a final death knell was rung for domestic coal as it was taken out ahead of its banning in 2023.
The ONS removed 15 items from the basket, added 19, and left 715 unchanged, the Times reported.
“The 2022 basket of goods sees some really interesting changes, with the impact of the pandemic still evident in our shopping habits,” said Sam Beckett, ONS head of statistics.
“With many people still working from home, demand for more formal clothing has continued to decrease.”
Beckett said last year’s lockdown living saw an increase in the number of people working out and exercising.
“That has continued into 2022 with the addition of the sports bra into the basket reflecting greater spending on sports clothing.”