Harefield Gazette


Accommodat­ion and food service businesses have been the most likely to pass on rising costs Has your business been affected by recent increases in energy prices?


NIn which of the following ways, if any, has your business been affected by price rises?

EARLY three in 10 businesses have had to pass on price hikes to their customers as they themselves have been hit by rising costs.

That’s according to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey of more than 9,000 firms across the UK that were asked about the impact of increasing prices on their trade.

Some 29% of respondent­s surveyed between April 4 and 17 said they had put up prices for customers because of the effect of general cost increases on their business.

That was up from 24% that said the same when asked the question between March 7 and 20.

The figure rose to 50% for businesses providing accommodat­ion and food services, up from 38%.

In the wholesale and retail trade, 47% said they had passed on price increases to customers (up from 40%).

Many companies have had their margins squeezed by the ballooning cost of goods and services across the economy in recent months.

Rocketing energy prices, supply chain issues and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have all contribute­d to the highest level of inflation seen across the UK in decades.

The ONS figures show 29% of businesses polled in April said recent increases in energy prices had affected their production or suppliers, or both – up from 25% in March.

Again, the accommodat­ion and food service sector reported being hit the hardest, with 56% saying their production or suppliers had been affected by higher energy bills.

That was followed by manufactur­ing (42%) and the education sector (36%).

Firms were also asked if they had been forced to absorb higher costs due to general price rises.

Across all industries, 36% responded that they had taken on some of the impact themselves, which was similar to the 35% that said so in March.

Overall, only 28% of those who responded to the most recent survey said their business had not been affected by price rises, down from 36% during the previous month.

The ONS also asked employers whether they were using, or intended to use, increased homeworkin­g as part of their business models.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of firms said yes, a proportion that has gradually risen since 14% said the same when asked in February 2021.

Unsurprisi­ngly, this was higher in predominan­tly white collar sectors such as informatio­n and communicat­ion (54%) and “profession­al, scientific and technical activities” (43%).

The main reason given for adopting homeworkin­g was improved staff wellbeing, with 60% of businesses saying so, followed by reduced overheads (43%).

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