Today’s CPI rate of 8.7% - unchanged from the previous month - shows that inflation is remaining elevated for longer than expected

Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, said the ‘stubbornly high’ rate of inflation was creating a spiral of wage and price rises.

“Concerns over recruitment and skills have consistently been top of the agenda for Shropshire businesses in recent months, but after 18 months of price shocks, the impact of sustained inflation is of growing concern,” she said.

“The fact that analysts were expecting to a see a fall in inflation this week, which has not materialised, piles even more pressure than ever on the Bank of England to continue raising interest rates.”

She added: “The cost of doing business is at its highest in many years, and is undoubtedly damaging confidence. On a slightly more positive note, however, the British Chambers of Commerce points out today that the producer input price rate has slowed significantly once again to 0.5%. 

“Research shows that fewer firms expect their own prices to rise, so the hope is that energy and commodity costs may fall away as drivers of consumer inflation.”

But the British Chambers of Commerce says action by the Government to help with the squeeze on the labour supply, reform of business rates and support on exports would go some way to helping them face the future with more confidence.