U.K. Shops See Stock Level Drop to Record, Prompting Price Surge
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. companies grappled with record low levels of stock in August and retail selling prices rose at the fastest pace since November 2017 as increased demand strained employers’ staffing.
It’s the fifth consecutive month that the record has been broken in the distribution sector, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry, which first started in 1983. The scarcity comes as firms struggle under the twin threats of a shortage of workers and global supply chain disruptions.
“There are signs of operational challenges still biting, with stock levels reaching another record low and import penetration falling,” said Alpesh Paleja, the CBI’s lead economist. “Disruption is being exacerbated by continued labor shortages, with many retailers reliant on younger employees currently awaiting their jab.”
In the face of these difficulties, rising selling prices look set to endure, potentially raising alarm bells for Bank of England officials. Respondents to the CBI’s survey expect price inflation to continue at a similar pace next month, even as orders and sales growth is forecast to slow.
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