UK inflation unexpectedly held stable in September at 6.7% as rising fuel costs offset the first monthly fall in food prices for two years to maintain pressure on households during the cost of living crisis.
The largest downward contributions to the monthly change came from food and non-alcoholic beverages, where prices fell on the month for the first time since September 2021, and furniture and household goods, where prices rose by less than they did a year ago.
The Consumer Prices Index including owner-occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) rose by 6.3% in the 12 months to September 2023, the same rate as in August.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the annual inflation rate as measured by the consumer prices index (CPI) remained unchanged from August’s reading, already raising questions by experts over the Bank of England’s next decision on interest rates due in November. City economists had forecast a modest fall to 6.6%.
Occupiers’ Housing Costs (OOH) increased by 5% in the twelve months to September 2023.
Source: Office for National Statistics.
So what actions can a business take now to remain resilient to any changes in the economy?
Here are a few suggestions to help you think about your business:
- Review your Budgets and set realistic and achievable targets for 2024.
- Review your debtors list and chase up overdue invoices (if appropriate).
- Assign responsibility to one individual for invoicing and collections.
- Put extra effort into making sure your relationships with your better customers are solid.
- Review and flow chart the main processes in your business (e.g. Sales processing, order fulfilment, shipping etc) and challenge the need for each step.
- Encourage team members to suggest ways to streamline and simplify processes (e.g. sit down and brainstorm about efficiencies and cost reduction).
- Review your staffing needs over the next few months.
- Review your list of products and services and eliminate those that are unprofitable or not core products/services.
Talk to us about your business, we have many clients who have changed the way they do things and some really innovative stories to share with you!