Commenting on the inflation figures for November 2016, published today by the Office for National Statistics, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

 

“The rise in inflation in November was not surprising, but is still slightly higher than expected, driven partly by a sharp rise in clothing and fuel prices in the month.

 

“While price growth remains well below the historical average, we forecast that inflation will breach the Bank of England’s 2% target next year, as the rising cost of raw materials filters through into a broader and more sustained rise in prices. 

 

“Our growth forecast earlier this week suggested that rising prices are expected to weaken investment intentions, by squeezing firm’s margins and dampening consumer spending by eroding real incomes.

  

“Businesses see rising inflation as one of their biggest concerns for the coming months and years, and with 2017 expected to be an uncertain period for the UK economy, it is vital that more is done to support business growth. Addressing the high input costs faced by businesses in the UK, particularly business rates, should be a government priority at the next Budget.”