Inflation fears grow as UK factory prices surge

Inflation fears grow as UK factory prices surge
# 23 June 2021 20:32 (UTC +04:00)

Cost pressures on UK firms have gone up at a record level, suggesting that the current surge in consumer prices may be more than just a blip, APA reports citing BBC.

A closely watched survey, produced by IHS Markit/CIPS, showed input costs rose at the fastest rate for 13 years.

And inflation of prices charged by firms hit its highest since records began in 1999, as factories struggled to source raw materials.

Consumer price inflation hit a two-year high of 2.1% in the year to May.

If firms are paying more for components and putting up their wholesale prices, that suggests that retail prices are set to go up even further.

The full survey, known as the IHS Markit/CIPS Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), painted a picture of a fast-growing economy as the easing of coronavirus curbs unleashes pent-up demand.

It gave a reading of 61.7, based on initial readings for June, down only slightly from 62.9 last month. Any figure above 50 indicates expansion.

"Businesses are reporting an ongoing surge in demand in June as the economy reopens, led by the hospitality sector," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

The figures come as the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) prepares to announce its latest interest rate-setting decision on Thursday.

If the UK economy starts to show signs of overheating, MPC members will come under pressure to raise rates in order to slow rising prices.

Even so, no immediate change in policy is expected, with the Bank taking the view that the pick-up in inflation is likely to be temporary.

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