Champagne returns to Ireland's shopping basket

CSO also adds craft beer and e-cig refills to the list of products it uses to track prices...

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has updated the basket of goods it uses to track prices in Ireland and one returning product can be read as a clear sign that recessionary times are behind us.

Removed from the basket five years ago, champagne has made a return to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Officials review the contents every five years to ensure that it is representative of what we're buying so that it accurately monitors inflation.

Disposable cameras, clock radios and blank CDs are gone, whilst the CSO has noted how Irish consumers are now watching more streamed programmes on big TVs.

Now, bigger TVs, e-readers and streaming services are included for the first time, but clock radios, disposable cameras and blank CDs have been taken out.

CPI statistician Colin Cotter said:

"There are significant changes in the basket for electronic goods and services. For example, consumers are now purchasing larger TVs while e-readers and television streaming services have been included in the basket for the first time.

"Electronic products removed from the basket include clock radio, home cinema sound systems, MP3 docking stations, blank CDs, disposable cameras and camcorders"."

"Consumer preferences have also changed in the area of alcohol and tobacco," Cotter continued. "For example, e-cigarette refills/liquids, craft beer and champagne have been added to the basket. Champagne had fallen out of the basket five years earlier only to return this time. The price collection has also been expanded to include various different types of wine – red, white, rose and sparkling.

"In terms of food, fresh hake has replaced plaice and whiting in the basket while avocados, melons and sweet potatoes have been added.”

The basket update comes as the CSO releases a new CPI series rebased to December 2016, along with the results for January 2017.

Prices on average inched up 0.3% year-on-year in January. The most notable changes included increases in transport (+2.8%) and hospitality (+2%), and falls in the price of furnishings, household equipment and maintenance (-5.5%), and clothing and footwear (-2.6%).

Consumer prices fell 0.5% in the month.