Inflation rate 'not telling true story'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Not telling the true story: hospitality sector reacts to inflation update (Credit/Getty: Eoneren)
Not telling the true story: hospitality sector reacts to inflation update (Credit/Getty: Eoneren)

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Trade bodies urge the Government to provide “targeted support” for the sector in the November budget as decline to the headline rate of inflation does not “tell the true story”.

Data released today (Wednesday 20 September) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the overall rate of inflation fell from 6.7% in August this year, down from 6.8% the previous month.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 0.3% between July and August 2023, compared with a rise of 1.5% between the same two months a year ago.

Targeted support 

However, Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO Michael Kill shared his “deep concern” about “ongoing challenges” faced by hospitality businesses as the drop in inflation does not “tell the true story on the ground”.
“While the overall inflation rate has shown a decline, businesses within the night hospitality and time economy sectors continue to face mounting pressures.

“Rising operational costs, coupled with reduced consumer spending, have created an even tougher environment for this vital sector within the UK economy.
“Our hospitality and night-time economy is a critical component of our cultural and economic landscape, and we urge the Government to consider targeted support measures in the November budget, to ensure the survival and recovery of these businesses”, he said.

Engine of growth 

The largest downward contributions to the monthly change came from food, where prices rose by less than a year ago, and accommodation services, where prices fell in August 2023.

Rising prices for motor fuel led to the largest upward contribution to the change in the annual rates.

Though British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin echoed Kill, adding while pubs would be “relieved” the previously expected increase to inflation did not happen, rising costs across the board mean pubs need “immediate action” from the Government.

She added: “With soaring costs on everything from fuel to food continuing for the foreseeable future, and consumers further having to tighten the belt, now more than ever pubs need immediate action from Government to reduce the burden of exorbitant business rates and tackle unfair energy contracts, so they can return to being an engine of growth for the British economy, providing jobs and prosperity for communities of all sizes.”

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