U.K. Hipsters and Gym Junkies Win Approval in New Price Basket

Gamers, hipsters and body builders in the U.K. had their spending habits given a form of official status on Wednesday when some of their favored purchases were added to the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation.

Online gaming subscriptions and muscle-enhancing protein powder were among 13 items added to the consumer-price index, the Office for National Statistics in London said. Others include craft beer, typically made in small batches and increasingly popular with young urbanites, music-streaming subscriptions such as Spotify Ltd. and e-cigarettes.

The office also added sweet potatoes, saying they are “currently popular in the nation’s kitchens.”

The ONS reviews its inflation basket each year in order to more accurately reflects the cost of living faced by households. Eight items were removed this year from the list, which is made up of 703 goods and services. Gone are yogurt drinks, which have faded in popularity, as well as satellite navigation systems. That’s partly the result of smartphone apps “and also because many new cars have built-in units,” the ONS said.

The Bank of England targets consumer-price growth of 2 percent. A falling oil price pushed inflation to a record-low 0.3 percent in January and policy makers say they’ll look through the temporary effect from commodity prices when setting interest rates.

The ONS separately reviewed the housing cost component in its one of its inflation measures, CPIH, giving it a greater weighting in the index.

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