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Gloucestershire Business News

'Small businesses battling inflationary pressure'

The Federation of Small Businesses has given its reaction to the latest UK inflation figures released today.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.6 per cent last month compared with 2.3 per cent in March.

The rate has been steadily increasing following a period of relatively low inflation in 2015 and is at its highest since June 2013.

Air fares were the main contributors to the increase in the rate in April, although this balanced out a downward effect of similar magnitude in March and is due to Easter falling later than last year.

Rising prices for clothing, vehicle excise duty and electricity also contributed to the increase in the rate.

These upward contributions were partially offset by a fall in motor fuel prices between March and April this year, compared with a rise between the same two months a year ago.

FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: "The number of small firms reporting an increase in operating costs is at its highest since 2013.

"That means it's harder for them to invest, expand and create jobs. If costs continue to rise, it will undoubtedly have an impact on growth across the country.

"We'll be looking to the next Government to take action.

"Only last month small businesses had to absorb a hike in the National Living Wage and business rates.

"It's high time for an increase in the Employment Allowance to £4,000 and a freeze on the Insurance Premium Tax.

"Small businesses need support in their battle against surging costs. As today's CPI illustrates, that support is needed sooner rather than later."

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