A new report by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and BDIO, has found that most businesses are optimistic that they will see growth this year, but they also believe that they will have to raise their prices to consumers, leading to more inflationary pressure.
Turnover Expected To Increase In 2022
Although just over half the businesses surveyed in the report are still not operating at full capacity, most of them still believe that their turnover will increase further as the effects of the pandemic begins to fade slowly out into the distance. Manufacturing firms seem particularly confident of growth in early 2022, with 80% of the number surveyed looking to recruit more staff.
Inflation is being driven by a combination of higher wages, the higher cost of raw materials for industry and the rise in energy prices which could become very acute in the next few months.
Confidence Up In Spite Of Challenges Ahead
Speaking to the Insider Media, NI Chamber chief executive Ann McGregor said:
“It is encouraging to see that confidence is keeping up in spite of challenges, particularly around pressure to raise prices. These quarterly economic survey results indicate that there is much to be optimistic about at the beginning of this New Year. However, while there are many positives, we must also be realistic about the fact that multiple, serious challenges persist.”
What A Difference A Year Makes
And in the same article Brian Murphy, managing partner at BDO NI, is quoted as saying:
“What a difference a year makes. It’s encouraging to see that many businesses have reported an increase in sales, employment, and investment confidence in Q4, this is the strongest foundation for recovery that we have seen since the start of the pandemic.
“Considering the scale of the challenges that have been faced in the last two years, to be in this position of strength is a real testament to the resilience, commitment and adaptability of the NI business community.”
You have to take your hat off to all the businesses in Northern Ireland who have soldiered through the last two years, let us hope that we all gain the rewards that we surely deserve this year and look forward to a more stable and prosperous future. The landscape could have looked far worse than it is to be frank, so we should all be thankful that most businesses have survived and can now see a glimmer of light at the end of a long, hard tunnel.