Businesses, battered by wage, fuel, and supply chain cost hikes and no solution to the skills shortage are increasing their prices to ease increasing pressure on their revenues and profitability, the Auckland Business Chamber’s new confidence survey shows.
“Businesses are at boiling point, caught in a vicious spiral having to compete for labour, pay higher wages, weather huge hikes in freight, supply chain, and materials costs, somehow manage debt on flat revenues and retain customer loyalty when they pass on those latest increases into the community,” says Chamber CEO Simon Bridges.
A staggering 83% of respondents representing businesses across Auckland from retailers to manufacturers, high tech, and exporters, say they have or will have to increase prices with 88% saying profitability is under threat, the survey reveals.
“Recovery is being suffocated and the frustration of having to turn away work because of lack of staff and no satisfactory response, even a temporary reprieve, to immigration problems is driving down confidence. Almost 60% of respondents believe conditions are worse than a year ago and 50% see it getting worse,” he says.
Government has shown that it can respond to fill skills gaps by opening the borders to selected skills, such as health workers, “but it has to go further and faster.”.
“This is a case where an immediate band aid will save the day for our struggling enterprises. Let the people in and make it easy and attractive to fast track approval of critical skills from cooks to fruit pickers, programmers to crane drivers to keep small and medium businesses ticking and people in jobs.”
For more information, please contact Simon Bridges on 021 322 769
Simon Bridges, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber