Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - June 2021

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 01 July 2021

The June DMP survey was conducted between 4 and 18 June and received 3,153 responses. 

In June, businesses estimated that their sales in 2021 Q2 would be 11% lower than they otherwise would have been because of Covid-19, with investment 12% lower and employment 6% lower.

In the latest survey, businesses expected the effects of Covid-19 to wane over the rest of 2021, but the pace of recovery was expected to be slower than in the previous few months. This may have been due to renewed concerns around the Delta variant and the delayed easing of Covid restrictions. The impact of Covid-19 on sales expected to ease from -11% in 2021 Q2 to -7% and -5% in 2021 Q3 and 2021 Q4 respectively, whereas in May the impact was expected to have narrowed -2% by 2021 Q4.

Covid-19 was expected to lower investment by -12% in 2021 Q2 and -10% in 2021 Q3, down from -11% and -5% respectively in May. That drag on investment was expected to ease slightly to -7% in 2021 Q4, compared to -3% in May. 

The estimated impact of Covid-19 on employment remained largely unchanged in June. Businesses’ expectations of the impact of Covid-19 on employment in 2021 Q2, 2021 Q3 and 2021 Q4 were stable at -6%, -4% and -3% respectively. 

The percentage of employees on full-time furlough (still employed but not required to work any hours) fell to 3% in June, from 6% in May. The percentage of workers on premises was expected to rise to 64% in June and 72% in 2021 Q3, the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic.

Overall uncertainty has fallen over recent months but was little changed in June compared to May. The percentage of businesses that viewed the overall level of uncertainty facing their business as high or very high stayed at 50% in June, the lowest level since February 2020. Covid-19 remained the largest source of uncertainty for 25% of businesses, down from 32% in May. The share of firms reporting Covid-19 in the top 3 sources of uncertainty fell to 68%, down from 74% in the previous month. The share of firms that reported Brexit in their top three sources of uncertainty was 35% in June, 1 percentage point higher than the previous month.

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.