Post-pandemic shopping trends… Forget the suits, it’s all about the sports bra

Post-pandemic shopping trends… Forget the suits, it’s all about the sports bra

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Working from home in the pandemic sped up a move against formal attire while the growth of the sports bra is related to the fashion for exercise, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Sam Beckett, its head of economic statistics, said the latest line-up of goods used to work out typical household inflation showed “the impact of the pandemic”.

She said: “With many people still working from home, demand for more formal clothing has continued to decrease. Men’s suits disappear from the basket, replaced by a formal jacket.

“Lockdown living saw an increase in the number of us working out and exercising. That has continued into 2022 with the addition of the sports bra…reflecting greater spending on sports clothing.”

Other moves see doughnuts replaced by multipacks of cakes and the axe for coal ahead of a ban on domestic sales of the fuel from next year. Some items were added to the basket for the first time to reflect other pandemic lifestyle changes: antibacterial surface wipes plus collars for dogs to reflect the boom in pet ownership.

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Canned beans, chickpeas and lentils came in with meat-free sausages, reflecting the change in diets.

Gone are reference books such as dictionaries and road atlases as people look up the information online – although cookery books and travel guides remain for now. Consumer price inflation (CPI) is calculated using a “basket” of more than 700 goods and services updated annually in line with spending patterns. This year 19 items were added and 15 removed.

With the most recent CPI rate of 5.5 percent at a 30-year high, the process has come under added scrutiny over whether products adequately reflect the spending choices of poorer people.

Consumers will soon be able to use an online ONS tool to calculate “personal” inflation based on spending.

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