Businesses braced for increased cost pressures

14 February 2017

Businesses in Greater Birmingham are braced for increased cost pressures after UK inflation climbed to its highest level since June 2014.

The Consumer Price Index rose from 1.8 per cent last month, up from 1.6 per cent in December, the Office for National Statistics said today.

The main contributor was an increase in the cost of motor fuels. Food prices were also a factor, having remained unchanged between December 2016 and January 2017 after falling a year ago.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner (pictured) said: “As predicted by a number of industry experts, inflation saw another notable increase in January, rising to a level not seen since the summer of 2014 and edging closer to the Bank of England’s target rate of two per cent.

“Predicated on rising fuel and food costs, we are likely to see a steady rise in upward inflationary pressures as a weaker pound will no doubt eventually feed through to consumer prices.

“Exchange rates, so long cited as a concern amongst local businesses, are likely to push up input prices for companies across the region.

“With economic uncertainty likely to mark the next few months, we are actively encouraging firms in our region to take part in our latest Quarterly Business Survey so we can effectively understand the real experiences of local businesses in the current environment.”

Click here to access GBCC’s Quarterly Business Survey.

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