Covid-19 Business Stats 6

16th August 2020 by Phil Mundy

As government support for COVID diminishes, and how is your business performance compared to others? Industrial activity seems to be far from anything like a ‘new normal’ or in a sustainable state with a fragile supply chain (reduced input and output stock levels), risk-averse spending, and possible over-reliance on furlough support.

That introduction may paint a dim view of a relatively uncertain future, but there are still businesses actively working and benefiting with near-normal, and higher turnover figures; so we still have a game of two halves. Outside of enterprises prevented from operating by direct legislation, I would be very interested to hear stories from underperforming or stuck companies in industries that are exhibiting strong results.

The previous two-week view can be found here: COVID-19 Business Stats 5.

ONS data references

This article presents a graph-based view of an essential subset of data provided by the Office of National Statistics every two weeks.

Original Data tables: Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) results
Survey Live: 27th July to 9th August
Sent to 24,500 businesses with 5,733 responses

Which businesses are still paused?

The chart shows the percentage of businesses responding as temporarily closed for each sector. Trading does not mean trading as normal, see the furlough levels below.

How much of the workforce is furloughed?

One of the constraints on business performance has been the high number of staff on furlough. For those not otherwise held up by legislation, safe operation or cash, this is beginning to improve.

The chart below shows the % of the workforce furloughed in companies not permanently closed and scaled by the number of employees on record.

Financial business performance

Turnover vs expected

Businesses were asked to compare the current level of turnover during the survey period, and two weeks prior, against that normally expected. There is still an enormous spread of performance and not much change since the previous surveys.

Cash position summary

The cash position of of companies with limited reserves has slightly deteriorated, and those that are currently on the wrong side of the turnover chart and carrying furloughed staff are going to struggle in autumn.

Cash position by sector

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