Inflation drop ‘good for economy, far from reality for hospitality’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Trade reaction: industry associations have responded to the fall in inflation (image: Getty/Torsten Asmus)
Trade reaction: industry associations have responded to the fall in inflation (image: Getty/Torsten Asmus)

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A decrease in the rate of inflation is a good sign but the upcoming increase in business rates will cause operators more pain, one trade body has said.

Inflation fell from 4.6% in October to 3.9% in November – the lowest it has since September 2021, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

The figures from October​ also reported a drop from 6.7% revealed in September of this year.

UKHospitality (UKH) warned the increase in the business rates multiplier next year will add extra pressure on operators.

Feel pain

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Consistent reductions in the overall rate of inflation is good news for the economy but it will feel far from reality for hospitality businesses.

“Venues continue to feel the pain of energy, food and drink costs that continue to rise at a far higher rate.

“This will be compounded in April when business rate rise yet again for the vast majority, putting further pressure on consumers prices and risking an unwanted inflationary spike.

“We are urging the Government to reconsider its decision to put up business rates by more than 6% in England and instead use the forecasted April rate of inflation of 3%, which would relieve some pain for businesses.”

Reaching profitability

Fellow trade body the British Beer & Pub Association echoed UKH’s comments around the sector not being impacted by the drop in inflation.

“While today’s news of overall inflation continuing to fall is positive, the hospitality sector is still not feeling the benefit of this,” chief executive Emma McClarkin said.

“Across our supply chain and especially for food and energy, our costs continue to rise. We need to see inflation continue to fall, in all areas of the economy in the next quarter to ensure all of Britain’s pub can reach profitability and therefore, stability in 2024.”

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