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Reacting to the latest ONS inflation data, Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Insights at the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“News that CPI eased to 4.6% in October, the lowest level in two years, is encouraging. However, the reality for consumers is that prices are still worryingly high. That is dampening spending and hitting the businesses we represent.

“The data shows prices in the production sector continue to fall with input PPI now at –2.6%. That confirms what companies are telling us. Our Quarterly Economic Survey has been showing a fall in the number of firms expecting their prices to rise for the past five quarters.

“Despite that, firms are still struggling to invest, as they face the challenges of high interest rates, skills shortages and difficult trading conditions.

“Next week’s Autumn Statement is an opportunity for the government to outline a clear strategy for growth. We’re calling for action from the Chancellor on planning, the energy grid, full expensing, business rates and occupational health.

“Movement on these crucial issues can provide a springboard for business investment which will be the cornerstone of economic growth.”

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