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Higher costs pressured businesses in 1st quarter

A quarterly survey from the National Association of Business Economics finds that rising costs for materials and labor appear to be pressuring businesses.

During the first quarter of the year, 31 percent of businesses surveyed reported higher material costs. That's more than double the 15 percent that saw costs rise in the previous survey. Thirty-five percent of respondents reported rising wages and salaries at their businesses in the past three months, up from 23 percent in January.

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An employee operates a forklift at the distribution center of the Oregon Freeze Dry Inc. facility in Tangent, Oregon.
Leah Nash | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee operates a forklift at the distribution center of the Oregon Freeze Dry Inc. facility in Tangent, Oregon.

Yet those who said they raised the prices they charge in the past three months remained unchanged at 20 percent.

The survey of 72 members was conducted between March 18 and April 1.

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The survey findings say it appears businesses weren't able to "pass on costs increases, resulting in increased pressure on margins."

By The Associated Press

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