Plan B curbs are a hair-raising blow to London’s business confidence

Wednesday 12 January 2022 06:00

No new Covid measures in England pave way for New Years celebrations
According to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) (photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

The chilling impact on the UK economy from the reintroduction of Covid-19 restrictions has dealt a blow to business optimism in London, a new study released today reveals.

A sharp blow to consumer confidence from Plan B measures to contain the spread of Omicron has weakened the business climate for the capital’s businesses, causing them to sweat over London’s economy, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said. ).

One in three London companies expect the capital’s economy to weaken in the coming year, a sharp increase from 21 percent earlier, according to research by the LCCI.

Britons were encouraged to socialize and work from home in December when the British government re-limited daily life amid rising Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron tribe that swept across the country.

However, Plan B measures failed to significantly reduce virus transmission, with cases consistently breaking record highs in December.

The measures are throwing a spell on the crucial Christmas trading period for the capital’s hospitality industry, as consumers flocked from city centers and businesses in the Square Mile canceled parties.

Nearly two in five London companies expect the hurdles to hit the wider UK economy.

Richard Burge, chief executive of the Industry (LCCI), said: “The severity of Omicron’s impact on London’s business and the prospects of business leaders on the local and national economies.”

“At the time of growing optimism in the third quarter, the results of this survey are a stark reminder of the tumultuous conditions in which companies are trading.”

The LCCI’s research illustrates the intense pressure the capital’s businesses are experiencing to remain profitable amid a cost attack.

The energy bills of about 64 percent of London businesses have risen, while 45 percent have experienced a rise in raw material costs.

Vicky Pryce, chief economic adviser to the Center for Economics and Business Research, said: “Higher inflation, mainly due to a sharp rise in energy costs, but also due to increasing staff shortages and supply chain problems, has pushed input costs up.”

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