Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - May 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 04 June 2020

The May DMP survey was conducted between 7 and 22 May and received 2,863 responses.

In the May DMP survey, businesses expected their sales in 2020 Q2 to be 42% lower than they would otherwise have been, employment to be 6% lower and investment to be 43% lower. The Q2 sales and investment impacts were similar to the April survey, but the employment impact was materially smaller than the 18% expected in April, probably reflecting the extension of the furlough scheme.

Sales were expected to recover only gradually over the next year with the negative impact from Covid-19 lessening from 42% in 2020 Q2 to 30% in Q3, 18% in Q4 and 10% in 2021 Q1. The impact on employment was expected to be more persistent and to be larger in Q3 and Q4 of this year than in Q2, peaking at 10% in Q4.  Investment was expected to recover somewhat more slowly than sales. The reduction in investment due to Covid-19 was expected to be 43% in 2020 Q2, 37% in Q3, 28% in Q4 and 18% in 2020 Q1.

Businesses reported that 36% of employees had been furloughed in May (still employed but not required to work any hours), the same as in April.
Covid-19 remains an important source of uncertainty for most businesses. In May, 95% of firms viewed Covid as one of the top three sources of uncertainty for their business, down from 97% in April.

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