Most firms expect prices to rise in the next few months amid high inflation and skills shortages

ITV News Business and Economics Editor Joel Hills reports on the knock-on effects of companies facing increasing inflationary pressures

Two-thirds of firms expect to raise their prices within the next three months, a leading business group has warned, as businesses across the country suffer from ongoing skills shortages while dealing with inflation.

Farmers across Britain have been hit by higher fuel and fertiliser costs, as a chronic shortage of workers have forced some to destroy what they have grown as there is no one to pick the produce.

Derek Wilkinson, managing director at Sandfields farm in Warwickshire, told ITV News: "At the end of April, beginning of May, were 40% short in staff in our business.

"We lost 40-45,000 kg of asparagus and also 3/4 of a million bunches of spring onions which we simply could not harvest. And that cost our business a quarter of a million pounds."

Derek Wilkinson said he had to destroy some of what he had grown due to a lack of staff. Credit: ITV News

Restaurants are also being massively hit by inflationary pressures, after inflation - the increase in prices of goods and services over time - hit a 40-year-high.

One restaurant co-owner in Soho told ITV News Business and Economics Editor Joel Hills how he has put up prices on his menu as increased food prices and business costs are "grabbing people by the throat".

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said a survey of 5,700 firms showed that measures for investment and longer-term business confidence have slipped back, hitting investment plans.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know

The BCC - which is calling for urgent tax cuts and more temporary visas - has said that two-thirds of businesses plan to hike their prices in the months ahead.

Baroness Ruby-McGregor Smith, the BCC's president, said more businesses will fail over the next year if the government does not intervene.

"I think it is critical they support us more over the next twelve months, particularly with the challenges companies are having coming out of this pandemic."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said previously that many companies have accumulated cash reserves during the pandemic and appear to be resilient.