Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - August 2020

The Decision Maker Panel (DMP) is a survey of Chief Financial Officers from small, medium and large UK businesses. We use it to monitor developments in the economy and to track businesses’ views.
Published on 03 September 2020

The August DMP survey was conducted between 7 and 21 August and received 2,759 responses. 

In the August DMP survey, businesses estimated that their sales in 2020 Q3 would be 14% lower than they would otherwise have been because of Covid-19, employment 7% lower and investment 32% lower.  

Sales were expected to recover gradually over the next few quarters.  The negative impact of Covid-19 on sales was expected to ease from 14% in 2020 Q3 to 12% in 2020 Q4, 10% in 2021 Q1 and 5% in 2021 Q2.  The effects on employment were expected to be more persistent.  Covid-19 was expected to lower employment by 7% in 2020 Q3 and reach a peak impact of 8% in 2020 Q4.  After that, the effect on employment was expected to start to fall back to 5% by 2021 Q2.

The percentage of employees on furlough (still employed but not required to work any hours) continued to fall in August.  Businesses reported that 12% of employees had been furloughed in August down from 18% in July and a peak of 36% in April.  

Overall uncertainty remained high.  70% of firms viewed overall economic uncertainty as high or very high in August.  That was slightly lower than 76% in the July survey and 74% in June.

The DMP was set up in August 2016 by the Bank of England together with academics from Stanford University and the University of Nottingham.  It was designed to be representative of the population of UK businesses.  All results are weighted.  See Bloom et al (2017) for more details.

The DMP receives funding from the Economic and Social Research Council.