The past 7 weeks have probably contained more political and financial instability for the UK than anything else in living memory.
Whatever your view on Brexit, I don’t think many people expected that we would have a new Prime Minister, currency rates would be yo-yoing and the markets would nosedive following the EU referendum.
The catering equipment industry and the foodservice sector in general are of course not insulated from what’s going in the wider country, and many in the segment have been trying to prepare for what’s to come.
The most immediate impact was to Sterling and exchange rates, which likely hit manufacturers and importers the hardest.
For those who didn’t hedge purchases way in advance, almost overnight their material or import costs from the EU increased – temporarily at least – by 8%.
For anyone buying in dollars, it was even worse news, with the Pound dipping to a 31-year low against the US currency, incurring almost a 10% increase in costs for UK importers.
And while the currency markets have stabilised somewhat since the initial shock, major banks and financial investors have forecast that at least over the next year or two, we shouldn’t expect the Pound to pick up too much.
The gloomy outlook also stretches to the amount of kitchen outfits on the slate in the medium term too.