One in 10 UK firms hiking prices amid rising cost pressures – ONS
Firms are increasingly passing on soaring costs to consumers as the supply chain crisis wreaks havoc across the economy, with official figures revealing that one in 10 firms has hiked prices.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said its latest business survey showed nearly a third (29) of companies have seen a higher-than-normal increase in the cost of materials, goods and services – with construction, services and manufacturing firms the worst hit.
As firms battle against rising costs of everything from energy to staff wages, they are resorting to increasing price tags to consumers to weather the inflation pressures.
The latest ONS survey showed that 10% of businesses reported increasing the price of goods and services in early September – up from 8% in mid-August and 4% in late December.
The data showed that, of these, nearly a quarter (23%) were retailers across the wholesale and consumer-facing sectors and 25% in the manufacturing industry.
It comes amid mounting signs of rampant inflation in the UK, with energy prices rocketing, the recent fuel shortage leading to surging costs on forecourts, and prices rising more generally in the economy.
Wholesale gas prices surged to a record high on Wednesday, although they dropped back after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country would stabilise the market.
Sectors from car retailing and toilet paper production to high street fashion have warned over price hikes.
In the retail sector, the likes of Next and Hotel Chocolat have recently said they are putting up prices in the face of cost pressures.
The ONS survey also showed that businesses are struggling to fill vacancies as staff shortages add to the pricing woes.
It found that 41% of firms with 10 employees or more reported vacancies being more difficult to fill in the last month compared with normal expectations for this time of year.
Across all firms finding it harder to recruit, 18% said there has been a reduced number of EU applicants.
More than half (53%) said it was due to a lack of qualified applicants for the roles on offer.
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