50% of small UK businesses expect to raise prices in 2022
A survey conducted by the accountancy network Moore UK has revealed that 50% of the UK’s small businesses intend to raise their prices in the coming year whilst a third plan on making redundancies following the end of the furlough scheme. Drilling down further, businesses planning to make redundancies are considering letting go of 45% of their work force over the next 6 months. These figures are obviously concerning and are a stark reminder that whilst the economy continues to show positive signs of recovery, there are still many challenges ahead.
Britain’s economy predicted to outperform rest of the G7 in 2022
Goldman Sach’s analysts are expecting the UK to grow faster than every other G7 nation in 2022. The banks experts are predicting a 4.8% growth from the UK in the coming months, significantly higher than the 3.5% predicted for the US, 4 % for Germany, and 4.4% for Italy and France. Further afield, Japan and Canada are expected to grow much slower. By comparison, HSBC are predicting British GDP to increase by 4.7% in 2022.
8% of small businesses threatened by late payments
A poll conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that a concerning 8% of businesses could close this year due to late payments. Having surveyed more than 1200 businesses, the results revealed that 30% have seen late payment of invoices increase over the last quarter with a further 8% experiencing other poor payment practices from their customers. Furthermore, 78% of small businesses are experiencing increasing costs, with fuel (46%) and utilities (45%) highlighted as specific areas of concern. At the last count there were 5.5 million small businesses in the UK, a decrease of 400,000 during 2021’s lockdown measures.
Manufacturing output index on the up
Manufacturing output index rises
Both jobs and output in the manufacturing sector continued to grow at the end of 2021 as disruptions to the supply chain began to ease, according to the latest surevy results from the IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI. The output index saw an increase to 53.6 in December, up from 52.7 in November in what seems to be a clear indiciation that the latest spread of the Omicron variant has yet to hit the sectors recovery.
UK economy reached pre-pandemic levels in November
The latest stats from the ONS (Office of National Statistics) revealed the UK economy exceeded pre-Covid levels for the first time in November. GDP was up by 0.9% between October and November, surpassing the level recorded in February 2020 and outperforming the 0.1% increase witnessed in October. A word of caution however as there are early concerns growth has slowed due to the emergence of the Omicron variant. The ONS did say that on a quarterly basis the UK will at least equal or exceed Q4 2019’s pre-Covid levels should GDP grow by at least 0.2% in December and there are no further downward revisions for October and November.
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*Sources: City AM, The Daily Telegraph, Business Money, The Times, NACFB, Financial Times