Record number of British manufacturers raising prices, says CBI

Anna Leach, CBI deputy chief economist, said pressures facing British manufacturers have been ‘amplified by the conflict in Ukraine’.

22 March 2022

The proportion of British manufacturers expecting to increase prices has jumped to its highest level since records began in 1975, according to data from the country’s biggest business group.

The latest monthly Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey revealed planned price hikes over the next three months, underlining the rapidly increasing scale of inflation pressures on British firms.

It said its survey, which had responses from 229 businesses, showed a net balance of 80% of manufacturers are raising the price of orders booked for the next three months from March, compared with 77% last month.

The question, which was first asked in January 1975, deducts the number of firms saying they will raise prices from those saying they will lower them.

Manufacturers also reported an improvement in their order books for the month to a balance of 26, matching record levels from November.

Firms also told the CBI that output volumes continued to grow at a “robust pace” over the three months to March.

Anna Leach, CBI deputy chief economist, said: “This survey highlights strong order books and output growth, but the cost pressures facing manufacturers have been amplified by the conflict in Ukraine.

“The Government must use tomorrow’s spring statement to provide relief to both energy intensive industries and vulnerable consumers.

“To deliver a fundamental reset to UK growth, we need to see significant action to incentivise investment, a key driver of productivity growth and the only way to sustainably increase real wages.”

Tom Crotty, group director at Ineos and chair of the CBI manufacturing council, said: “It is positive to see that total order books remained strong in March, with export orders above normal to the greatest since extent since March 2019.

“Manufacturing output volumes also grew at a significant pace in the first three months of 2022.

“However, the Ukraine conflict has created further headwinds to an already challenging context for the manufacturing sector.”

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