Business is bracing for the worst, buckling under a perfect storm of wage pressures, skills shortages and overhead increases that have ramped up over the past three months, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.
“Small and medium enterprises, the backbone of our economy and springboard to a sustainable recovery, are reeling with no alternative but to raise prices to counter the acceleration in overhead costs and a crippling shortage of essential skills needed to keep business moving,” Mr Barnett said, reporting on the latest State of Play survey.
“The results are alarming. Business confidence is crashing, just 7 per cent of respondents believe the business environment will get better over the next six months, while 96 per cent say their overheads are going up and up, 72 per cent are suffering skills shortages cramping growth, 62 per cent are under the gun to increase wages to recruit or retain essential skills in short supply and 91 per cent are looking at increasing prices.”
Mr Barnett said the pile up of negative factors will force business to re-evaluate plans, including hiring new staff.
“Spiralling costs, fuelled by inflation, supply chain aggravations and compliance costs means families will have to pay more for goods and services leaving them with less in their pockets and more anxiety and uncertainty.”
For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber