UKH boss responds to ONS inflation figures

The Chief Executive of UKHospitality commented on the latest UK’s annual inflation fiures. The rate fell for a third consecutive month in January, easing pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates, but remained in double digits and near the highest levels for 40 years.

Kate Nicholls said, “The rate of inflation decreasing for three months in a row is promising but it remains the case that price rises continue to significantly hinder hospitality businesses.

“A drop in the cost of visiting venues in January is a clear reflection of venues squeezing every drop out of their margins in a bid to attract custom, in order to stay afloat after a Christmas hit by rail strikes and amid the annual New Year drop in consumer spend.'

Kate continued, “The cost of energy alone is enough to keep much of the sector teetering at the cliff edge. The substantial reduction in energy support in April, as well as continued labour shortages, will increase the sector’s vulnerability, constrain growth and likely add to further price rises.

“This can be avoided if the Chancellors takes action at the Budget, to tackle the root causes of inflation in hospitality, allowing the sector to help reduce inflation.

'Intervening in the energy market, reforming the Apprenticeship Levy and introducing a lower business rates multiplier for the sector are all measures that can see the sector tackle immediate challenges and rapidly deliver economic growth for the UK, ' Kate ended.