Lincolnshire

QES: Inflation a “rising concern” for Lincolnshire businesses

The results of the Quarterly Economic Survey have revealed that businesses across Lincolnshire are anticipating the weak pound will result in a rise in prices.

Statistics from the first QES of the year, published on Thursday, April 13, showed businesses were in ‘stable’ conditions with settled domestic sales, a steady workforce and little change in cash flow and investment decisions.

However, businesses did suggest that price rises were imminent, with nearly half of all businesses surveyed indicating that exchange rates were a contributing factor.

Previously, the QES showed a high number of businesses reporting inflation as a rising concern for 2017, and this has risen yet again with almost half of businesses stating it as a concern.

With these pressures, businesses are increasingly reporting that prices may rise.

Dr David Gray, Principal Lecturer from the University of Lincoln commented saying: “The inflationary impact of a depreciating currency are coming through.

“With oil rising in both dollar and sterling terms, businesses will be feeling more of a squeeze as time progresses, particularly with small firms operating close to break-even”.

In the last quarter of 2016, results revealed that almost half (47%) of all exporting businesses experienced an increase in sales, likely due to favourable exchange rates.

This quarter, around 70% of exporting businesses indicated no change to their sales or orders from overseas from the previous quarter.

With Article 50 being triggered back in March, the business community is hoping more structure and steer will materialise as to how the Brexit road ahead looks.

The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, the Lincolnshire County Council and the University of Lincoln are encouraging more and more businesses to fill out the survey, especially during this period ahead of Brexit, in order to gauge the impact of significant economic changes.

Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive at the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce added: “It will be interesting to measure current results with those much further down the line, and draw an accurate picture of how elements of local business change during such unpredictable times.

“The survey acts as a voice for Lincolnshire, and all results are seen by Senior Officials at Downing Street. Without significant evidence of any issues affecting local business, the less likely it is that the correct support will be provided to help.

“Therefore, we urge businesses to continue filling out the QES in the future to ensure the whole business community in Lincolnshire is heard and supported”.

 

The survey is undertaken by the British Chambers of Commerce on behalf of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, Lincolnshire County Council and in partnership with the University of Lincoln.