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Next’s 2022 trading outlook dependent on UK wage inflation -CEO

Next's 2022 trading outlook dependent on UK wage inflation -CEO 1

LONDON (Reuters) – The trading outlook for British clothing retailer Next in 2022 is very dependent on what happens to wage inflation, its boss said on Thursday.

“A lot depends on what happens to wage inflation,” Simon Wolfson told Reuters after Next reported better-than-expected Christmas trading.

“The positive for retail is that we can adjust our pricing. So if wage inflation is in line with our price increases, I don’t think it will be, but if it is then it’s not going to be nearly as much of a problem as if wage inflation is a long way behind our prices,” he said.

Wolfson added that wage price inflation is a bad thing for the economy as a whole – “so I’m not advocating it in any way.”

Next forecast its prices would rise 3.7% in the first half of 2022 and 6.0% in the second half due to higher freight rates and increased manufacturing costs.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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