Inflation is top concern for business leaders, survey finds

Last year, inflation only came in 22nd place in the same ranking.

Inflation has become a major concern for business leaders around the world, who are worried that it will persist beyond 2022, according to a survey published Thursday by the economic research center Conference Board. Rising prices rank second among the challenges the 917 executives surveyed expect to face this year, behind disruptions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, inflation only came in 22nd place in the same ranking.

Among European leaders, this question is even at the top of the list of problems to be managed in 2022. Some 55% of leaders surveyed around the world expect to be subject to inflationary pressures until at least mid-2023. About 82% of executives surveyed say they are seeing cost increases, a proportion that rises to 95% in the manufacturing sector.

According to the survey, there arefew signsindicating that the bosses plan to absorb the increase in their costs and cut back on their margins. Most intend, on the contrary, to pass on these increases to their selling prices. More and more companies are realizing that they have the latitude, in this inflationary context, to raise their prices. “There could be less worry about losing market share because of pricesand their increase, write the authors of the study.

Another consequence is the lower priority given to cost reduction, which only comes in 15th place among American business leaders and 10th place among bosses in Europe and Japan. This trend is particularly marked in service companies, with industrial company managers ranking cost reduction in fifth place.

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