The May DMP survey was conducted between 6 and 20 May and received 2,608 responses.
Annual private sector output price inflation in the DMP was 6.9% in the three months to May, 0.7 percentage points higher than in the three months to April. The single month figure for May was 7.3%, 0.8 percentage points higher than in April. Expected year-ahead annual output price inflation was 5.9% in the three months to May, up from 5.6% last month (the single month data was 5.9%, 0.1 percentage points lower than in April).
In the May survey, businesses were asked about their average unit cost growth and average wage growth for the first time since before the Covid pandemic. Over the past 12 months, average unit costs were estimated to have increased by 8.8%. Over the next 12 months, firms expected unit cost growth to be 7.8%, on average. Average wage growth was reported to have been 5.5% over the last year, and was expected to be 4.8% over the next year.
Respondents were also asked for the first time about their expectations for CPI inflation. On average, current CPI inflation was estimated at 7.6% in the May survey, with a clear increase in responses received after the official May CPI release on 18 May (in which CPI inflation rose from 7% to 9%). Looking ahead, DMP members expected CPI inflation to be 6.9% one-year ahead and 3.8% in three years’ time.
The percentage of non-labour inputs being disrupted increased to 17% in May, up from 15% in April. The proportion of firms suffering some form of disruption to their non-labour inputs also remained stable at around two-thirds.
Recruitment difficulties remained widespread. In May, 87% of firms reported they were finding it harder to recruit new employees compared to normal. 63% reported that it was much harder, up from 60% in April.
Overall levels of business uncertainty edged up in May. 54% of respondents reported that uncertainty for their business was ‘high’ or ‘very high’ at the moment, 3 percentage points higher than in April. Uncertainty around expectations for year ahead price inflation increased further in the three months to May. However, there was a modest decline in uncertainty relating to the war in Ukraine, Covid and Brexit.