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Vinyl records added to inflation basket for first time since 1992 with help from Taylor Swift

Vinyl records added to inflation basket for first time since 1992 with help from Taylor Swift

A resurgence in the popularity of vinyl records means the item is being used to calculate the rate of inflation again for the first time since 1992.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) includes 744 of the most popular items as a marker for UK shop prices in its annual calculation of inflation, and vinyl records were among one of 16 items to join the list while 15 others were dropped.

It marks the first time that the item has been included in the basket since 1992.

Vinyl has seen a steady increase in popularity over the last few years with 2024 signalling the industry’s 16th consecutive year of growth. The format has enjoyed a resurgence among younger listeners including Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

Sales were given an extra boost in the UK by Taylor Swift’s album 1989 (Taylor’s version) which was the biggest-selling vinyl record last year. The bestselling vinyl record by a British artist or group was Hackney Diamonds by The Rolling Stones, also released in 2023.

ONS deputy director for prices Matt Corder, said in a statement: “Often the basket reflects the adoption of new technology but the return of vinyl records shows how cultural revivals can affect our spending.”

According to the digital entertainment and retail association ERA, the growth of the format has led to the number of independent record stores increasing. In 2023, the number increased by more than one third from 339 independent stores in 2014 to 461 last year.

UK record labels association, the British Phonographic Industry, reports that 5.9 million units of vinyl were sold last year, the highest annual level since 1990.

Taylor Swift’s 1989 was the bestselling vinyl record in 2023 (Getty Images)
Taylor Swift’s 1989 was the bestselling vinyl record in 2023 (Getty Images)

“It’s good to see the ONS once again including vinyl LPs in its measure of what people are buying around the UK,” chief executive of BPI, Jo Twist, told The Guardian. “This much-loved format has seen demand grow consistently for nearly two decades, including among younger and more diverse consumers who stream daily but also love to own their favourite music on physical formats.”

Other items to be added to the list included air fryers, SD cards and USB sticks, pre-packed salads, rice cakes, gluten-free bread and spray oil.

Items to be dropped from the inflation basket included popcorn, sofa beds and hand sanitiser gel.