Soaring inflation remained a key concern for businesses at the end of 2022, according to the latest quarterly economic survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
Of the 5,600 firms surveyed – 92% of which are SMEs – 80% said that inflation was a growing worry for their business in Q4 of 2022. Nearly 38% expressed concerns about rising tax burdens, while 43% said interest rates impacted their business.
Business confidence stabilised at a low level following significant declines in Q3, with just 33% of respondents experiencing an increase in sales over the three months to November 2022, while 25% reported a decrease.
Meanwhile, firms in the retail and hospitality industry were more likely to report a decrease in sales than an increase.
Only 34% expected higher profits in 2023, while 36% anticipated a decline in profitability.
Responding to the survey’s findings, director general of the BCC, Shevaun Haviland, said:
“The outlook from businesses remains bleak. Now, more than ever, we need to create the right conditions for firms to invest and grow.
“The Government’s New Year’s resolution should be to put business support for SMEs at the heart of its agenda and get the UK back on the road to recovery.”
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