Suffolk businesses take stock after Russian invasion of Ukraine

A view of high fuel prices at a Shell fuel station, as oil prices jumped following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

A view of high fuel prices at a Shell fuel station, as oil prices jumped following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. - Credit: PA

Suffolk businesses are currently assessing the news that Russia invaded Ukraine, but will soon be feeling the effects of the conflict.

Paul Simon, head of public affairs and strategic communications at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said no firms had yet been in touch with difficulties adding that it was too soon to say what the impact would be on specific business sectors in the county.

Paul Simon of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: Paul Simon

Paul Simon of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. - Credit: SUFFOLK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

He said: “Clearly any conflict in as sensitive an area as Ukraine is going to add to economic and business volatility.

"In the short-term, Suffolk Chamber’s immediate concerns are the impacts on energy and fuel availability and prices which could put further inflationary pressure on many of the county’s businesses and their margins.

"These are delicate and sensitive times and we hope for a speedy return to peace before the confidence of businesses in their employment and investment plans takes a sustained knock.”

A map of the conflict in Ukraine.

A map of the conflict in Ukraine. - Credit: Press Association Images

One Ipswich-based business contacted by this newspaper declined to comment on the developments in Ukraine, saying they feared being targeted by Russian hackers in reprisal for speaking out.

Others said it was too soon to say how the situation would affect them.

Most Read

Ukraine is a major supplier of wheat and corn, with economists warning the cost-of-living crisis in the UK could be exacerbated with inflation rising well beyond current predictions of around 7% later this year.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said if the jumps in oil, gas and electricity products on Thursday are sustained, it could push inflation to 8.2% in April.

It would only fall back to 6.5% by the end of the year, he added.

Mr Tombs said: “Today’s surge in oil, natural gas and electricity prices, if sustained, points to an extra 1.5pp boost to the UK CPI.

“CPI inflation is now likely to peak at circa 8.2% in April and only come down to 6.5% by the end of the year.

“Hard to see how households’ real spending keeps rising.”