Children's scooters added to inflation basket

Image copyright Microscooters

The obsession of many young children to scoot is affecting the way the cost of living is calculated in the UK.

Children's scooters have been added to the basket of goods used to measure the UK's inflation rate.

It has replaced the swing, which was being sold less, particularly during the winter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The price movements of 700 goods and services are measured in 20,000 UK outlets to calculate inflation.

Drinking habits

Also added to the basket were gin, non-dairy milk (such as soya or almond), and men's base layer fitness tops.

Disappearing from the basket are alcopops, old mobile phone handsets, menthol cigarettes, and the fee for stopping cheques.

The basket of goods reflects changing habits and technology to calculate the changing cost of living, as measured by the inflation rate.

A series of changes have been made, but the replacement of the swing with the scooter is perhaps the clearest signal of how families have changed their habits regarding gifts for children.

History of the scooter

  • Thought to have originated in the late 19th Century - "Most scooters would have been homemade, using wood or whatever people could find. The simplicity of the design encouraged that," says Esther Lutman, assistant curator at London's Museum of Childhood
  • Surge of interest in the 1930s and, to a lesser extent, in the 1950s and 1980s
  • Trend for modern scooters dates from 1996, when Wim Ouboter of Micro Mobility Systems in Switzerland produced a foldable aluminium model
Image copyright Victoria and Albert Museum

Last year, coffee pods and microwave rice were added to the basket, to reflect a long-term trend towards prepared foods.

Nightclub entry fees and re-writeable DVDs were among the items removed from the calculations.


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