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Business in Norfolk are likely to see rising costs, according to survey

Norfolk Chamber of Commerce
Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

Businesses in Norfolk can expect their costs to rise over the next year due to the devaluation in the pound, according to the results of a survey released by the British Chambers of Commerce.

The survey, conducted in partnership with American Express, revealed that the majority of businesses expect the fall in sterling to increase their costs.

More than 1,300 businesses, including those in Norfolk, found that 63 per cent of businesses expect their costs to increase in the next 12 months as a result of the devaluation in sterling, including a quarter who expect costs to rise significantly. Only six per cent of firms expect their costs to decrease.

More than 70 per cent of manufacturers and business-to-consumer firms anticipate costs increases, compared to 55 per cent of business-to-business firms, according to the results.

The findings of the survey highlight the extent to which the depreciation in sterling is expected to compound the price pressures on Norfolk firms, underlining the need to ease the domestic cost of doing business. There is also a clear need for more support and information for exporting businesses on the importance of managing currency risk.

Julie Austin, international trade manager for Norfolk Chamber of Commerce said: “Weak sterling reflects the current climate of political uncertainty and lack of clarity on the Brexit process. A clear and firm strategy from government about the nature of the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU would go a long way to reassure and stabilise markets.

“While businesses await answers on Brexit, and a return to a stronger currency, they must take the necessary steps to prepare for potential risks. It’s concerning to see the proportion of Norfolk companies not actively managing currency risk. For those trading internationally, it makes good business sense to explore the options available to insure against currency fluctuations.”

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