I don’t want to jinx anything, but have you noticed that the price increase letter sent from our manufacturers and suppliers seems to have dried up?

There was a period last year where it seemed that nearly every week most of us were receiving letters explaining rather large increases from immediate effect or within 7 days. Glass price increases were the largest, with Pilkington raising some of their product ranges by about 40%.

However, for the last few months of 2011, and the beginning of 2012, I haven’t heard of any upcoming price increases, from any area of the market – much to my surprise.

The cost of raw materials has continued it’s steady rise, oil prices are back on the up, fuel costs are still painfully high and general running costs for businesses continue to rise. I fully expected more price increase letters before this point.

This pause in price increases is of course very welcome. Profit margins for every company are being stretched badly right now, any further increases will only add further strain. However I do feel that at some point this year, most likely to be late spring/early summer, there could be a raft of increases again. Companies right now will be looking at their accounts, their margins, forecasting further raw material price increases, and seeing whether or not they need to raise their prices. By the time these processes have been done, we’re likely to be in April or May time. Of course I may be wrong!

If I am wrong, this will be good news. No one wants any more price increases, and the longer they take to arrive, the better for customers and just as important, profit margins.