The high demand for hand sanitiser, men’s loungewear and women’s sweatshirts during the coronavirus pandemic means they’re now being used to calculate the cost of living in the UK.

The items have been added to the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) basket of goods and services, which is reviewed every year to measure the rate at which the price of products bought by British households rise or fall over time.

This ‘shopping basket’ is designed to reflect the changing tastes and habits of UK consumers, with some products being taken out of the basket and some brought in, while others remain unchanged.

“The pandemic has impacted on our behaviour as consumers, and this has been reflected in the 2021 inflation basket of goods,” commented Sam Beckett, head of economic statistics at the ONS.

“The need for hygiene on-the-go has seen the addition of hand sanitiser, now a staple item for many of us, while a more casual approach to clothing, as more of us work from home, has seen the addition of loungewear into the consumer basket.”