Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - June 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 02 July 2020

The June DMP survey was conducted between 5 and 19 June and received 2,776 responses.  

In the June DMP survey, businesses expected their sales in 2020 Q2 to be 38% lower than they would otherwise have been because of Covid-19, employment to be 8% lower and investment to be 38% lower.  

Sales were expected to recover only gradually over the next year with the negative impact from Covid-19 lessening from 38% in 2020 Q2 to 26% in Q3, 16% in Q4 and 10% in 2021 Q1. Investment was expected to recover somewhat more slowly than sales, but was still on an upward trajectory. In contrast, the impact on employment in Q2 was expected to be more persistent than the impact on sales, with the hit to jobs rising a little in Q3 and Q4, when it peaks at 11%, and falling back only a touch in 2021 Q1.

The impacts of Covid-19 on sales, employment and investment over the next year were expected to be broadly similar in the June DMP survey to in the May survey. But there were some small differences. The sales and investment impacts were expected to be a little smaller in 2020 Q2 and Q3 (between 4 and 6 percentage points). Employment impacts were expected to be slightly larger in each of the four quarters.

Businesses reported that 30% of employees had been furloughed in June (still employed but not required to work any hours), down from 36% in May. The proportion of workers furloughed was expected to fall to 18% in Q3 and 5% in Q4.  

Firms expected their unit costs to be 7% higher, on average, than they would have been in 2020 Q3 as a result of implementing measures to contain coronavirus, such as social distancing.

Overall uncertainty fell slightly in June compared to May but remained well above the level recorded in February and March. 74% of firms viewed overall economic uncertainty as high or very high in June, down from 76% in May and 84% in April.  

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.