Party's over as Britain drops nightclub entrance fees from inflation basket

Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:18am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - A decline in Britain's clubbing scene has prompted the statistics agency to drop nightclub entrance charges from the basket of goods and services it uses to calculate inflation -- and instead add refill pods for home espresso machines.

Britain's consumer prices index is based on the cost of more than 700 goods and services, a handful of which are changed each year as shoppers' tastes change.

"With the number of nightclubs charging entry declining, we can no longer justify keeping these fees in the basket," ONS statistician Phil Gooding said.

After a heyday in the 1990s and early 2000s, many nightclubs have closed as more relaxed licensing laws allowed pubs to compete by selling alcohol until the early hours of the morning.

Refills for home espresso machines join the inflation index for the first time, as do computer game downloads, replacing earlier technology such as CD-ROMs and rewritable DVDs.

Online stores such as Steam, run by U.S. publisher Valve, are now the main way PC games are sold, though physical discs still dominate for consoles.

Previous years have seen the ONS add downloads from mobile phone app stores and music streaming services.

Women's leggings, nail varnish, lemons and cream liqueur were also added to the inflation basket for 2016.

(Reporting by David Milliken, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

A man rises to shake hands with a DJ at the Ministry of Sound nightclub in south London April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris