The BICS asks businesses that have not permanently stopped trading (i.e. ‘Currently Trading’ or ‘Paused Trading’) about how the prices of materials, goods and services bought and sold compare with the previous calendar month. Note that in Wave 80 businesses were asked about prices in the month of March 2023. Prior to Wave 55, these questions asked how prices compare to normal price fluctuations.
Figure 2: In Wave 80, 42.7% of businesses reported that the prices of materials, goods or services bought in March 2023 had increased from the previous calendar month. Over the same period, 14.4% of businesses reported that they had increased the price of goods or services sold.
Source: Office for National Statistics – BICS – Weighted Scotland Estimates – Wave 18 to 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46 ,48, 50, 52, 55, 57, 59, 60, 63, 65, 67, 69, 71, 74, 76, 78 and 80.
Of currently trading businesses, 42.7% reported an increase in the prices of materials, goods or services bought in March 2023 compared with February 2023, an increase on the previous month (36.8%).
In the latest period, the industry sector with the highest proportion of businesses reporting increases in the prices of materials, goods and services bought was Accommodation & Food Services (63.8%).
In the latest period, the industry sectors with the highest proportion of businesses reporting increases in the prices of materials, goods and services sold were Wholesale, Retail & Repair of Vehicles (27.7%) and Accommodation & Food Services (25.4%).
In Wave 80, businesses not permanently stopped trading were asked in which ways their business had been affected by any price rises they had experienced.
Figure 3: An estimated 79.1% of businesses had been affected by general price increases in some way; the top three impacts reported by businesses were having to absorb costs (63.4%), passing on price increases to customers (34.0%) and having to change suppliers (18.6%).
Source: Office for National Statistics – BICS – Weighted Scotland Estimates – Wave 80
Businesses were also asked if they had been affected by recent increases in energy prices. In the period 3 April to 16 April 2023, half (50.0%) of applicable businesses reported that they had been affected by the recent increase in energy prices in some way (suppliers and/or production were affected).
In Wave 80, businesses were asked what their expectations were for the prices of goods or services sold in May 2023, and the factors causing the businesses to consider raising prices.
An estimated 24.9% of businesses were expecting to increase prices in May 2023, lower than the previous month (29.6%). The top three factors reported by businesses for these expected price increases were labour costs (44.8%), energy prices (42.8%) and raw material prices (31.1%).
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