Inflation Hits Bank of England’s Target: What It Means for Your Business

In a recent release by the Office of National Statistics, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) for May 2024 has settled at 2%, aligning precisely with the Bank of England’s target rate for the first time in nearly three years. This drop from April’s 2.3% signifies a crucial shift in the economic landscape, potentially impacting business operations across the UK.

The primary driver behind this dip in inflation rates is attributed to the food sector, where prices are now decreasing after a significant rise last year. Despite this decline, it’s important to note that food prices remain about 25% higher than they were at the beginning of 2022, indicating a long-term elevation in costs that businesses may still need to manage.

Another significant factor influencing the CPI is the cost of petrol, which currently exerts upward pressure on inflation. This contrasts with the situation a year ago when petrol prices were on the decline, highlighting the volatility in energy costs that businesses need to navigate.

Implications for Interest Rates and Borrowing Costs

Following the inflation report, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee elected to maintain the interest base rate at 5.25%, a figure that has been constant since August 2023. While this decision leaves the current borrowing costs unchanged, the alignment of inflation with the target rate sparks anticipations of a possible decrease in interest rates in the coming months.

The recent developments in inflation dynamics offer a mixed bag for businesses:

  1. Cost Management: Businesses, especially those in the food and energy sectors, must continue to strategically manage their costs. The current stability in inflation suggests that while prices are not necessarily decreasing, the rate of increase has slowed, offering some respite in financial planning.
  2. Borrowing Costs: The steady interest rate means that, for now, borrowing costs remain unchanged. However, businesses should stay prepared for potential changes in the lending landscape as the Bank of England may adjust rates in response to ongoing inflation trends.
  3. Strategic Planning: With inflation hitting its target, businesses might feel more confident in their long-term financial and operational planning. However, the continuing high cost of essentials like food and energy requires a cautious approach to budgeting and forecasts.

How Beavis Morgan Can Help

Understanding and adapting to these economic shifts is crucial for sustaining and growing your business. Beavis Morgan is dedicated to helping you navigate these complexities. Our experts can provide:

  • Insights and Analysis – We offer detailed analysis of economic trends and how they impact various sectors, helping you make informed decisions.
  • Financial Planning and Support – From optimising cost structures to revising financial strategies in light of potential interest rate changes, our team is here to support your business’s financial health.
  • Advisory Services – Our advisory services are tailored to help you capitalise on economic conditions, ensuring your business remains competitive and resilient.

As we monitor these economic developments, Beavis Morgan is available to provide you with the expertise and support needed to navigate this evolving landscape. For personalised advice and strategic guidance, contact your usual Beavis Morgan partner or email