In Wave 14 (7 to 20 September 2020), 47% of businesses experienced a decrease in turnover – according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Of businesses currently trading, 43% experienced a decrease in profits compared with what is normally expected for this time of year. Of businesses not permanently stopped trading, 3% intended to permanently close business sites in the next three months.
Dr. Kerstin Braun, President of Stenn Group, a global trade finance provider, comments on the latest ONS report on Coronavirus and the economic impacts on the UK: “Recording the millionth Covid-related death is a grim global milestone, with dark moods compounded by the virus’ resurgence in Europe. We’re at a critical moment with Covid in terms of both global public health and economic outlook. Many businesses who survived a total economic shutdown know that they won’t be able to repeat the trick in the event of a return total lockdown.
“Governments globally are trying to safeguard public health and drive economic recovery – an almost impossible balancing act. Some, like Taiwan and South Korea, have managed to achieve this balance while others, including the UK, have not.
“Firms will be laser focused on protecting cash flow and building capacity in supply chains to prevent business interruption. Grocery stores are stockpiling essential goods in anticipation of autumn regional lockdowns and the panicked consumers these create. Retailers have adapted to changing buying patterns and are planning for an extended Christmas shopping season.
“The second wave is hitting just as consumer confidence and industrial activity were rebounding. All eyes will be on employment levels. At this point, company survival may depend on shedding jobs. If that’s the case, we’re in for a bleak winter. No jobs, no consumption, and no trade spell a long, slow recovery.”