The Changing Prices of Products in the UK from the 50s to the Present Day

Graph showing product prices since the 50s

How to Read the Castle Cover Product Price Index

The Castle Cover Product Prices Index demonstrates the changes in cost of televisions, cameras, games consoles, stereos, mobile phones and vacuum cleaners in the UK and US over the last 60 years, encompassing decade-based trends from 1950 to 2010 and taking inflation into account.

While you might expect that all these items would experience a sharp decline in price over the 60-year stretch, there are differing trends for several items on the list. Most notably, stereos have stayed at a consistent price. Like most technology, audio equipment is constantly upgraded, which counteracts the natural trend of established electronic equipment becoming cheaper over time. Much the same can be said for modern games consoles, which have a firm lifecycle before dedicated gamers pine for the newest offering from the likes of Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft.

Nonetheless, all the items on the list seem to be reaching a plateau of innovation and, perhaps, price. Many may believe that stereos and vacuum cleaners are about as good as they can get, while televisions and cameras may soon maximise their potential, should recent technological developments such as 3D be anything to go by.

Knowing if this is the case or not, however, remains a guessing game. Prices are likely to remain stable, or even fall; after all, consumers still invest in the latest technology and demand further advancement. Many do not want to pay too much more for the experience, though. This has caused limited fluctuations in price that are reflected as consistent pricing in recent decades, applying to practically every technology included on the list.


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