Vinyl revival rocks Britain's inflation basket

From Reuters:

LONDON, March 11 - Vinyl records will re-enter Britain’s inflation charts for the first time in 32 years this month, as part of the annual shake-up of the basket of goods and services used to calculate the pace of price rises.

The change in the Office for National Statistics’ inflation basket offers a snapshot of shifts in Britons’ tastes and needs.

“Often the basket reflects the adoption of new technology, but the return of vinyl records shows how cultural revivals can affect our spending,” ONS statistician Matt Corder said.

Records return to the inflation basket for the first time since 1992, joining compact discs, music streaming subscriptions and digital downloads after a resurgence in demand for more tangible forms of music.


Sorry to shatter the illusion here but my mate’s son works for the ONS in Newport and they’ve been killing themselves laughing about this for weeks. An office joker put together a fake business case for a laugh and was torn between horror and joy to find it adopted; escalated upstairs and now a “thing”. It has literally zero to do with patterns of spending at all. Look back over previous years of this and you’ll almost always find one item which will give you pause for thought as to why. That is why.


I always believe everything I read on the internet


I don’t believe you Ian…


Given that Brits bought twice as many CDs as vinyl albums in 2023 it doesn’t take much to begin to see why this is an entertaining bit of hijacking. The “basket” is meant to be representative of consumer patterns i.e. if they change then it changes. Fairly obvious that there was a case, for example, for gluten free bread. The case for vinyl? :rofl:

There has been a surprise entry for some years now and it’s ONS staff doing that and always has been.

I’m not sure about that Mike. Vinyl sales have gone up and now it is the thing to have. There is a basis for this and it is on national radio. Do you have statistics to back up what you are saying?

I spend a fair bit on vinyl and there seems to be more record stores and HMV and the like have larger and larger vinyl sections in their stores.

And average vinyl is £25 to £30. Average CD maybe £5 to £8. So amount spent on vinyl will be significantly more. Let’s have some facts please.

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Absolutely. See the article on the Darko web site dated the 28th of December 2023 analysing the BPIs stats and the misrepresentation of same by the media. What we believe and what turns out to the factual situation are often miles apart.

“11 million CDs. 5.9 million vinyl LPs.”

The ONS when choosing said items do not go with a simplistic total spend. Units so;d ate the leading factor amongst others. They explain this in depth for anyone with the time to read it.

I trust that will suffice as facts go with regard to this specific issue.

HMV are an interesting one. Claim to have had record profits on the back of a “vinyl resurgence” and yet the biggest thing they sell in terms of units remain DVDs and books.

The one thst gets me is almost half of the vinyl
bought is never played.


We are just surmising here. I don’t know how much we spend on vinyl? Vinyl is very expensive now and there is some kind of resurgence.

But how much is sold? It’s popular on here. But what is going on with sales. Prices for vinyl are high.

Maybe there is something in it!


Yeah but Mike, records are £30. DVDs and books are less than £8 each. It’s not units, it’s profit. Some records are £85 in HMV.

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I know, I just bought a Black Sabbath Multi Album. I don’t know if you have been to HMV recently but the vinyl area is now really big and takes up alot of room. It’s more than 20% of store space now.

There is a vinyl resurgence. Get out there and see for yourself. There are more record shops and lots of interest online. Vinyl has come back.

Also look on this forum. More and more are buying decks or are inquisitive about vinyl. Are you seeing that Mike?


I’ve zero interest in vinyl @Dan_M. Been there. Done that. Ended the affair 34 years ago. Zero regrets.

With regard to this thread you queried my assertion that vinyl in the UK is outsold by CD 2 to 1. I believe I’ve answered that and that was the important thing to answer to show that the inclusion by the ONS is actually part of a regular in joke.

The rest is off topic really but FWIW 2,000 albums inevitably take up more floor space than 2,000 CDs. Floor space is not an accurate measure of anything in respect of this discussion and nor are hifi forums tbh. The largest sales of turntables remain for USB turntables to convert vinyl to digital. Thus the continuing popularity of the likes of Audacity et al.

The thread remains about the ONS inclusion of vinyl in their basket.

Let’s say 11M CDs at £8 = £88M.

6M vinyl at £30 = £180M.

More CDs sold, but vinyl tops for revenue.


I’m sure that’s not true.

We’ve had many discussions concerning vinyl over the years. :blush:

In UK 2023 10.8 million CDs sold and 5.9 million records sold. So you’re pretty much spot on @Mike_S.

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I don’t think the figures are a joke, vinyl sales are going up every year. CD sales are falling. There is definitely a vinyl resurgence taking place. The figures are saying that.

What has you not liking vinyl have anything to do with it. You say some mates son says it’s a joke. Well where’s your evidence?

Just seems like sheer humbug and disapproval of vinyl. Where’s your figures and quotes?

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IMHO, it’s not something to get overly exercised about, as said ‘ONS household basket’ contains many different items, some of which are likely alien to many households. On top of this, the costs and likely spends are weighted (i.e. would expect vinyl to be a modest level of anticipated spend). To many, it’s all a bit of a joke in appraising typical household costs, and IIRC someone a while back focused on food/basic living inflation alone, which was found to be far higher than the basket number – and we ain’t talking Fortnum hampers here! And many of the basket items can be labelled as discretionary spend items, so people can choose to go without.

Put another way, they have to have a stab at it somehow. Unquestionably, vinyl sales in the UK and US have been growing, with CDs in the UK plateaued it seems.


From what I am reading vinyl sales in the UK are increasing year on year and in the current economic climate surely that is of benefit to the music industry. Furthermore HMV brought back it’s flagship store in London late 2023.

So maybe this is all good big news! I think it’s positive. Being on list of ONS may bring vinyl even more to the forefront.