The 8th edition of the COVID-19 Barometer, implemented by EFL since the coronavirus pandemic, continues the positive trend from the previous quarter. According to the condition of SMEs, which shows that companies are constantly improving and developing, we can say that:
33% of enterprises estimate that the situation in their industry will improve in the next six months. This result is one of the highest since the beginning of the research study. Interestingly, this is the first time such a large group of companies (24%) believe that their industry will develop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the previous measurements, the result oscillated around a few per cent.
The pandemic is driving production and the construction sector up
The EFL survey shows that only 22% of companies estimate closing their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second quarter, 38% of respondents had this opinion. 39% of companies believe that the pandemic will not cause significant changes in the industry.
The most incredible optimism is in production and construction. As many as 45% of manufacturing companies and 30% of construction companies believe that the pandemic will help their industries develop. It is a significant increase compared to the measurement from the second quarter, in which 16% of the production representatives and 8% of the construction industry expressed such an opinion.
The most significant pessimism regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is shown - as before - by HoReCa representatives. The vast majority of respondents (the same as in the second quarter - nearly 85%) believe that the pandemic will result in company failures and business closures.
EFL in the COVID-19 Barometer study for the eighth time at the turn of June and July this year. Asked entrepreneurs from the SME sector whether, in the context of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the situation in their industry will improve, deteriorate or remain unchanged in the next six months. The results are similar to the data from the two previous measurements (Q1 and Q2 of this year). Every third entrepreneur (33%) believes that the situation in the industry will improve, and every fourth (25%) - that it will worsen. Three months earlier, there were 32% optimists and 24.5% pessimists. There is still a large group that does not expect significant changes (35%).
Considering the size of businesses, similarly to the second quarter of this year, the most remarkable optimism prevails among representatives of medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, the smallest entities from the SME sector show the most significant fears. 35% believe that the situation will improve in the next six months, and 13% will worsen. In micro and small companies, the size of the optimists and pessimists groups is similar. Improvement is announced by 32% of micro and 34% of small enterprises, while deterioration is mentioned by 31% and 25% of enterprises, respectively.
It looks like we are getting used to the pandemic
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy is still assessed as unfavourable. The intensity of these assessments is gradually weakening from quarter to quarter. In the third quarter, 20% of companies believe that COVID-19 harms their operations, 2 pp less than in the previous quarter and 8 pp less than in the first quarter of this year. 39% say: "rather unfavourable", and in the opinion of 33% of respondents, the epidemic does not significantly impact the company's situation.
Considering the size of companies, representatives of medium-sized companies are again the least negative to the pandemic. Only 6% of them assess the impact of the crisis on their operations as definitely unfavourable, while in the group of micro and small enterprises, this percentage is 23% each. 45% of micro, 33% of small and 42% of medium-sized enterprises indicate rather negative influence. Interestingly, in the opinion of as many as 19% of medium-siz