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Businesses facing 'toughest conditions for many years', says Chamber

Fri, 24 Mar 2023

A survey on the Isle of Man has highlighted continued concerns about rising costs.

Labour costs (especially the expected impact of increased minimum wage rates which come into force on April 1st) and electricity price increases are the major concerns. Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce carries out Quarterly Economic Surveys to gather information direct from businesses, and uses that data to make sure their voices are heard. Survey data is shared with Chamber members, local news media, and Isle of Man Government.

65 businesses took part in the latest research for Q1 2023. In addition to answering specific questions, respondents were also asked to comment on their major concerns. Inflation and rising costs (especially energy and other utilities) were once again to the fore, as they have been in other recent Chamber surveys. However, in the latest study those fears appear to have intensified, says Chamber CEO Rebecca George. She added: “Results from the Q1 survey show that there has been a significant shift regarding the immediate future due to heightened fears about rising operating costs. It's clear that businesses in many sectors are facing the toughest trading conditions they have experienced for many years.”

Other headlines from the Q1 2023 survey include:

  • Rising labour and utilities costs are a widespread concern
  • A third of respondents don't believe they will be able to absorb cost increases into their prices
  • Concern remains very high with regards to energy costs, in particular when looking ahead to when the electricity cap is lifted on March 31st
  • The majority of respondents believe affordability and availability of housing is becoming a barrier to employee recruitment and retention
  • Business confidence and profitability have both remained static compared to feedback in the Q4 2022 survey
  • Over half of respondents’ businesses have staff vacancies

The Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Surveys include core questions received from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) that are fed into national BCC research.



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