Labour shortages have risen in the UK as 81% of manufacturers have reported difficulties in “finding the right staff”, a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revealed.
According to the group this is the highest level since the survey began in 1989. The results also indicate an increase in price pressures facing firms, and the percentage of manufacturers expecting to raise prices is at its highest in a year and is almost three times higher than its pre-EU referendum average.
The group is calling on all political parties to “find a way forward and ensure that the UK does not face a messy and disorderly exit from the EU”, and added that avoiding a “chaotic Brexit” would bolster business confidence and investment.
Suren Thiru, head of economics at the BCC, said: “Our latest survey suggests that UK economic conditions were worryingly subdued in the final quarter of 2018, with a number of key indicators continuing to weaken under the weight of persistent Brexit uncertainty and rising cost pressures.
“The manufacturing sector had an underwhelming three months, with significant cost pressures and moderating global demand weighing on activity in the sector.”