Our tracker uses data supplied by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to build a picture of the average price changes for household bills across the UK.
Inflation is the rate at which the cost of goods and services bought by households rises or falls. It’s usually measured by looking at the prices of hundreds of different items, but crucially our tracker cuts most of these out and focuses only on core expenses which most households have and which typically make up the lion’s share of outgoings.
Our figure uses elements of CPIH, which stands for the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ Housing costs, the most comprehensive measure of inflation. CPIH looks at the prices of a ‘basket’ of 700 goods and services listed in the Consumer Prices Index inflation measure, such as clothes, food and furniture, and then adds costs associated with owning or renting a home.
MSE’s Bills Tracker cuts down the CPIH basket of goods and services to about 40 costs which many typical households are likely to face every month (see the full list below).
We’ve focused on bills rather than expenses such as food, and stripped out items included in the CPIH that you’re unlikely to buy often, if at all, such as rugs, door handles, a ten-pin bowling session and knitting wool. In other words, this is designed to be a real bills index reflecting typical household costs.