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Taylor Swift-led vinyl revival recognised by price data gurus

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Taylor Swift topped the vinyl LP chart last year

Vinyl music sales – led by the soaring success of Taylor Swift – have been recognised by statisticians who calculate the rising cost of living.

After more than 30 years, vinyl records have returned to the basket of goods used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to track prices and work out the rate of inflation.

Air fryers have also been added to the virtual basket in its annual review.

But hand sanitiser, a must-have of the Covid years, has been taken out.

The Swift effect
The influence of singer-songwriter Swift is not confined to the world of music where she has megastar status. Her mere presence at American football games to watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce has been credited with raising NFL viewing figures.

Now that influence seems to have spread to the rock and roll world of economic statistics.

Her album 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was the best-selling vinyl LP of last year, followed by the Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds.

UK sales of vinyl LPs hit their highest level since 1990, increasing for the 16th year in a row, according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) trade group.

So, for the first time since 1992, when the likes of Wet Wet Wet and Shakespears Sister were top of the charts, records are back in the ONS’s inflation basket.

Rightly so, according to Adriaan Neervoort, owner of Wanted Music, in Beckenham, Kent, who said: “Vinyl has a more engaging human sound, it comes beautifully packaged. People want to know more about music and they want to engage with it more.”

The basket contains more than 700 goods and services. The cost of these items in many different outlets are gathered by the ONS to give the monthly inflation figures. The latest show prices rising at 4% a year, down from a recent peak of 11% in 2022.

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