Supply shortages crept up at the end of July

More contractors reported problems with material supplies in the last two weeks of July, data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

The proportion of firms reporting problems crept up to 37 per cent in the fortnight ending 26 July, up from 34 per cent the previous fortnight. This was broadly equal to the proportion reporting problems at the end of June, but down from 46 per cent that suffered supply issues at the end of May.

The construction industry now has a greater proportion of firms struggling to get materials than any other sector in the UK. The next worst-affected area of the economy is the healthcare sector, where 33 per cent of firms reported supply problems in the fortnight ending 26 July.

Increased supply shortages do not appear to have translated into higher prices, according to the ONS data. The proportion of firms reporting price increases actually dropped to 20 per cent in the last two weeks of the month, from 21 per cent in the previous two weeks.

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