Tuesday 30th November 2021
Home General Business News Region’s firms busier but set for ‘costly winter’

Region’s firms busier but set for ‘costly winter’

E-mail Print PDF

Business activity picked up sharply in the region in October but cost inflation rose to a new series high according to a long-running survey of purchasing managers. Driven by material shortages and supply-chain problems, firms in the region faced rising fuel, transport, energy and wage costs which meant costs rose for the 17th month running, says the NatWest East of England PMI survey.

The rate of inflation for prices charged by firms also quickened for the second month running. Meanwhile, the survey’s index of activity rose from 53.9 in September to 58.3 in October, pointing to a ‘robust and accelerated expansion in business activity.’ Firms enjoyed a marked increase in new work and the rate of growth was the quickest since June, helped by greater client demand and rising footfall. A solid expansion in the services sector contrasted with a decline at manufacturers.

Optimism among firms improved from September as the prospect of new product developments, rising demand, and hopes of improved supply conditions boosted confidence. The pace of staff recruitment also quickened in October. John Maude, NatWest Midlands & East regional board, said: "Latest data signalled a sustained improvement in business activity in the East of England's private sector with firms registering an eighth monthly expansion in October….” He added: “Reports of material and component shortages were widely mentioned, and firms consequently faced severe price hikes. With the energy and supply crisis showing no signs of improvement, firms in the region can expect a costly winter.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 November 2021 07:23 )