Commenting on the Office for National Statistics inflation figures for November 2022, BCC Head of Research, David Bharier, said:
“Today's inflation rate of 10.7% may indicate we have passed the peak, but prices are now at a much higher level which will be felt for months to come.
"Our research shows that inflation remains by far and away the number one concern for businesses. Even if the rate of increase starts to slow, the damage to business confidence has been significant.
“With their margins left razor-thin, very few SMEs are planning to increase investment as they deal with a wall of higher energy bills, input costs, interest rates and taxation.
"Over half of SMEs tell us they will struggle to pay their electricity and gas bills after April. They will be nervously awaiting the Government’s expected announcement on the future shape and extent of any energy costs support, which will also impact inflation.
“Firms also need to see concrete action on infrastructure, skills, trade, and green tech to create the right environment to invest.”