Derry consumers have been warned to expect businesses to start passing on increased Brexit-related costs via price hikes in the very near future.
Limavady-native and Chief Executive of the North’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ann McGregor, said the development was due to the heightened cost of buying imports that are now suddenly more expensive due to a Pound that’s been weakened by the ongoing Brexit uncertainty
She offered the bleak prognosis following publication of the business lobby’s economic survey for Quarter 3, 2017.
Ms. McGregor suggested an increasing number of manufacturers and services sector businesses were coming under pressure to raise prices.
And this is likely to have a knock-on effect for prices and consumers generally.
“The uninspiring results we see in our third quarter findings reflect the fact that political uncertainty, the vagaries of the Brexit process and the resulting currency fall out are continuing to weigh on business growth prospects.
“The slump in sterling is pushing up sourcing costs for importers. Businesses are coming under increasing pressure to pass these costs onto customers at a time when their spending power is already squeezed,” she said.
The weak Pound, however, is helping local manufacturers whose business is based on overseas exports, acknowleded the business lobby boss.
“Sterling’s weakness does have its benefits and we are seeing this in the competitive boost it has given our exporters, both in manufacturing and services,” she said.
The Limavady woman said local industry needed political leadership and urged the local political parties to restore power-sharing at Stormont.
“Businesses need support to boost their confidence at this critical time.
“Our politicians can offer them support but that will only come about with the restoration of the Executive,” said Ms. McGregor.
“This must happen in the near future before more time is lost,” she said.