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Inflation remains a real concern for business

The UK’s inflation rate remained unchanged at 4% in January, according to the latest figures from the office for National Statistics.

Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages fell on a monthly basis by 0.4%, higher gas and electricity charges consumers offset the drop.

The price for second-hand cars also rose by 1.5% between December 2023 and January – the first rise since last May.

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses need price stability, so today’s news that inflation remained unchanged in January is welcome.

“However, firms consistently tell us inflation is their top concern. In our latest research 58% of firms citied it as a worry, though this has fallen in recent quarters from the highs we saw in 2022.

“The Bank of England has already warned that inflation is likely to remain volatile over the coming months because of global uncertainty. The Red Sea crisis is causing supply chain disruption and price rises for businesses.

“Next month’s budget is an opportunity for the Government to reassure and support businesses. Companies across the UK will be looking for a clear plan from the Chancellor that prioritises investment and skills.”

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