iPods and iTunes downloads have been added to the list of goods used by the UK government as a standard for measuring inflation.

The 650-product list is maintained by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and it aims to measure the fluctuations in prices paid by the UK population.

ONS collects about 120,000 prices every month for a "shopping basket" of about 650 goods and services. It uses the change in price of those items to compile its main measures of inflation: the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI).

The Bank of England uses the CPI as its inflation target while the RPI is used to uprate many state benefits.

Critics claim that including fast-to-depreciate electronic gadgets could affect the inflation measuring tool, but an ONS spokesman described the list as a "close reflection" of what people buy.

The list also now contains digital camcorders and flat-panel TVs. Wine boxes also debut on the list, while slippers and chocolate biscuits have been removed.