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Firms still under pressure despite slight fall in inflation in August

Falling petrol and diesel prices eased the overall inflation rate slightly in August as record food prices pushed food inflation to its highest level for 14 years.

According to the Office for National Statistics, overall UK inflation eased for the first time in almost a year in August, slipping to 9.9% from July’s 10.1%.

Alex Veitch, British Chambers of Commerce Director of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “This rise in Consumer Prices Index inflation by 9.9% confirms the sustained pressure businesses and consumers have been facing over the past year. 

“This is also reflected in the squeeze on businesses’ operating costs as Producer Price Inflation figures remain at record highs of 20.5% in the year to August 2022. 

“While the rate of growth has eased slightly, this has been driven by a fall in motor fuel costs – other goods continue to rise.

“There is a limit to how long any firm can sustain these rising costs before something has to give. We know from our research that two thirds of businesses plan to increase their own prices. 

“The size of last week’s Government intervention on energy prices should have a dampening effect on inflation when it is enacted.  

“But the lack of detail on exactly how much help any individual business will get, and for how long, means very few will be planning to invest any time soon. 

“There are also a whole host of other issues ranging from transport and shipping costs, raw material prices, energy sector regulation and the tight labour market that must be addressed. 

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

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