Suffolk pubs still pulling pints as landlords hit with prices squeeze
- Credit: SU ANDERSON/DEBEN INNS/ADNAMS
Pub bosses say punters are still coming to the bar, but landlords are facing other challenges as cost-of-living pressures mount.
Higher prices are putting pressure on landlords and Bank of England experts have forecast that the UK economy will soon start to shrink, but people are still turning up to pubs across Suffolk.
Nick Attfield, director of properties at Southwold-based brewery Adnams, said: "The cost-of-living crisis is beginning to impact on everyone. The April pay packet was the first time people have seen the new level of national insurance go out and everyone's seen their energy bills.
"But I still maintain going to the pub, going out to eat, going out to socialise is something that we as a nation need and want. It's such a fundamental human necessity.
"The demand is still there, but my god it's a bit of a pinch now for lots of people."
Mr Attfield said many Adnams pubs were buoyed by their location in tourist hotspots.
Steve Lomas, boss of waterside-pub chain Deben Inns, agreed that he had not seen the number of customers drop off.
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He said: "I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We're obviously suffering from increased costs and our suppliers are increasing prices quite dramatically at the moment, but at the moment the levels of trade are where I'd expect them to be really."
In a grim set of forecasts released on Thursday, the Bank of England predicted growth will contract in the final three months of 2022 as the cost squeeze sees households rein in their spending.
However, the UK is set to narrowly miss a technical recession – defined as two quarters in a row of falling gross domestic product.
Mr Attfield said that in some ways he found the current financial situation more challenging than the credit crunch of 2008.
He said: "In 2008 people didn't have money to go out and spend therefore you couldn't put prices up, so you had to look at everything else and cut costs.
"This one just feels like 'Kaboom, everything's running out of control'."
Mr Attfield described the current economic situation as a "perfect storm".