Paul Butterworth, CEO at Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:
“The figures released today are a welcome surprise as inflation has proved stubborn over recent months. It’s encouraging to see a now significant drop in total terms since the peak of 11.1% in October.
“This is certainly a promising sign for Welsh businesses, however, it’s important to remember that costs for people are still high, especially businesses, and seeing a relative fall in prices a year on is a cold comfort while prices and the CPIH remain high.
“Welsh businesses have shown incredible resilience, flexibility, innovation and creativity in the face of economic difficulties, which have been near constant for multiple years now. However, policymakers should see that things in Wales are difficult and understand that businesses need support now more than ever, to lift the nation out of its economic slump.”
Reacting to the latest inflation data from the ONS, David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Today’s CPI rate of 6.7%, while proving stubborn, shows that inflation is continuing to gradually ease off. Producer price inflation (PPI) fell by 2.3%. This should give the Bank of England pause for thought with the interest rate decision tomorrow.
“Inflation remains the top concern for businesses across our surveys, and firms will be concerned that fuel prices are the largest contributor to the CPI rate today. But the rising interest rate has also been a growing problem for many over the last year.
“Recent research by the BCC’s Insight Unit found that 46% of companies said current interest rates are having a negative impact, as costs for borrowing and mortgages go up. Smaller firms and those in the consumer facing sector are disproportionately impacted.
“The BCC’s latest economic forecast expects growth for the next two years will remain subdued. Businesses will now be worried that any further rises in the interest rate could could diminish consumer demand and make investment even harder.”