Producer prices in September rose at their fastest rate since 1996.
But most manufacturers found that their price rises were swallowed up by rising fuel costs, according to figures released this week.
Kate Barker, chief economic adviser to the CBI, said manufacturers could not rely on raising prices each year.
`We may have moved into a period where price cuts are the name of the game,’ she said.
She added that improved productivity resulting from staff reductions meant that profits were unlikely to be hit by flat prices.