Skip to sub navigation Skip to main content

Business news

Business news - July 2024

This month (July 2024) we have updates on the following topics:

  • General economic outlook
  • ONS Business Survey
  • Challenges faced by businesses.
  • Skills in demand in our region
  • Labour markets

General outlook:

  • According to the BBC inflation continued to fall in May and is now at the Bank of England’s target of 2% this was down from Aprils figure of 2.3%. Despite inflation falling to the target level the Bank of England decided to hold interest rates at the current elevated level of 5.25%. This is the highest rate of interest in 16 years
  • With GDP figures for April 2024 becoming available, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the economy did not grow following growth of 0.4% in March 2024
  • While inflation has fallen significantly since its high of 11.1% in October 2022 meaning that while prices aren’t now falling, they are rising at a slower rate. The BBC argues that this high and ‘sticky’ inflation was owing to high energy and food prices
  • Representing the construction industry, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) said that while the economy was starting to see signs of growth, ultimately the consensus remained that it would not begin to pick up pace until 2025.

ONS Business Insights Survey

Each month the Office for National Statistics runs a business survey that helps to deliver real time information on the challenges faced by businesses. We have chosen some highlights to add to this month’s business news:

  • 24% of businesses reported an increase in the price of goods and services bought in May 2024 when compared to April 2024, this was down by 4%
  • 11% businesses expected a rise in the price of goods and services that they sell in July while 68% reported that they expected prices to say the same
  • Only 6% of businesses with 10 or more employees experienced supply chain disruption in May 2024

If you want to see the full results of this survey it can be found on the ONS website

Main challenges faced by businesses:

  1. Economic uncertainty
  2. Cost of materials
  3. Competition with other businesses
  4. Insufficient domestic demand

Skills most in demand in our region in June 2024 were:

  1. Warehousing
  2. Nursing
  3. Auditing
  4. Invoicing
  5. Personal Care

Labour markets:

Ashfield's May 2024 figures show that we have 4% or 3120 people of working age seeking work. This is lower than in April 2024, which had 3130 people searching for work. While this figure is much higher than the East Midlands average of 3.5% it is only slightly higher than the national average which rose by 0.1% to 3.9%.

Last updated: 25 June 2024