March 1 2015 Latest news:

Cans of Guinness and iPads have been added to the virtual “basket” of goods and services used to measure inflation each month.

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The statisticians who calculate the rate of inflation use 180,000 price quotations every month, covering 700 goods and services across the UK.

But these goods and services are updated from time to time in a bid to keep them relevant.

Tablet computers, such as iPads and Blackberry Playbooks, have been added to the basket, while the developing and printing of colour film has been removed because of the rising popularity of digital cameras.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said tablets reflected a “significant and growing” market.

Other changes include the addition of “bundled” home communications services. These are packages that include combinations of telephone lines and calls, internet access and television services.

More people are buying these services as part of a single bundle, which is almost always cheaper than buying them individually, and the ONS said its inflation calculations would reflect this in future.

“The three component parts were already in the basket but the bundle reflects the way in which consumers are increasingly buying these services,” the ONS said.

Elsewhere, cans of stout, such as Guinness, have been added to the basket, along with pineapples, hot oat cereals and takeaway chicken and chips.

But boiled sweets, glass ovenware casserole dishes, stepladders and annual leisure centre membership will be left out.

“These changes are part of the annual review of the basket, which seeks to ensure that its contents and weights stay up to date with current consumer spending,” the ONS said.

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