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14 Sep 2022

Businesses can’t sustain high inflation, says East Midlands Chamber

Commenting on the latest Office for National Statistics figures showing inflation dropped from 10.1% to 9.9% in August 2022, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “While Consumer Prices Index inflation dropped very slightly in line with motor fuel costs falling, the 9.9% figure illustrates the sustained pressure businesses and consumers have faced over the past year.

“With Producer Price Inflation remaining at a near-record high of 20.5% for the same period, this reflects the cost-of-doing-business crisis that has existed since the start of the year. Driven by utilities, staffing, fuel and raw materials costs all rising, companies are really feeling the squeeze and the huge difference in these figures demonstrates their attempts to not to pass these on wholesale to customers and end consumers.

“However, there is a limit to how long any firm can sustain these rising costs before something must give. We know from our Quarterly Economic Survey that 62% of East Midlands businesses expect they will be forced to raise their own prices in the coming months.

“The Government’s intervention on energy prices should dampen inflation once it is enacted but the lack of detail on when this will come into effect, exactly how much help any individual company will get, and for how long, means very few will be planning to invest any time soon.

“It is imperative the Government’s forthcoming ‘fiscal intervention’ provides business with confidence that there is a cohesive plan to take the economy forward.”