The changing price of everyday goods and services

The price of technology has dropped dramatically in the space of 11 years, new analysis has revealed.

ONS inflation experts looked at the change in prices of consumer goods and services, from tobacco to hairdressing, dating back to 2005, to help people understand what areas have seen large price rises and falls and how consumer prices are calculated.

They found a number of notable changes in prices between 2005 and 2016, such as a 76% drop in the price of laptops, PCs and tablets.

The price of our goods and services has been headline news of late, as inflation rose to 2.7% in May, and is now at its highest point since April 2012.

In the quiz below, you can test how much you know about the changing prices of some everyday items.

Drag the circular button across the screen to guess the percentage increase or decrease.

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How have the prices of other everyday items changed?


There was a notable increase in food prices over the period to 2014. This has been attributed to a mixture of poor weather conditions and high oil prices across the world, which increased the global prices of farmed foods.

The growth of food prices hit a plateau in the UK in 2014, when discount shops such as Aldi and Lidl gained popularity. A supermarket price war began, with rival retailers slowing price growth to keep customers and remain competitive.

Liquid fuels

The price of liquid fuels, such as oil, increased by 49% in the UK over the period 2007 to 2008. This was due to growing demand driving a worldwide increase in price over the same period. Prices peaked in July 2008, but as the financial downturn hit the global economy, fuel prices plummeted after a matter of months. Between July and December 2008, they had fallen 42%.

Prices began recovering after 2009, peaking in early 2013, in line with improving health in the global economy. Due to a slow-down in demand from developing economies, prices dropped again in 2014, after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refused to reduce production in order to increase prices.

Recreation and culture

The cost of recreation and sporting services, such as gym membership, leisure centre classes, and golf fees, increased by 53% from 2005.

Cultural services, such as satellite TV, music streaming subscriptions and admissions to cultural events, went up by 47% between 2005 and 2016. The highest increase in this category came from newspapers and periodicals, which went up by 65%.

One of the few areas to see a minimal change in price was in equipment for sport and open-air recreation, such as sleeping bags, fishing rods and gas barbecues. They were less than 1% below the 2005 value.

Price changes by category

The following charts allow you to look at the changing prices for goods and services by category, indexed from 2005.

This means a 50% rise in price from 2005 to 2016 would show as a line starting at 100, rising to 150 on the chart. A 50% drop in the same period would see the line drop to 50.

Other Visual.ONS articles:

How inflation changes how much your wages are worth
Are your wages keeping up with inflation?
Hipsters, gin and the Basket of Goods

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