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Enterprise Pulse Survey

Four out of every 10 enterprises still undergo the negative effects of Covid-19 in the first half of July

Section: Special Series | Carmen Nery | Design: Helga Szpiz

August 18, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: August 20, 2020 04h34 PM

Services stand out with reduction of perceived negative effects in the first half of July
Photo: São Paulo State Government

Of the 2.8 million enterprises operating in Brazil in the first half of July, 44.8% perceived a negative effect from Covid-19; 28.2%, reported a small or nonexistent effect; and 27% saw a positive effect due to social isolation measures. By Major Region, enterprises in the Central-West saw the greatest negative impact (51.0%), followed by those in the North (48.1%) and South (47.2%) Regions. These are the highlights of the third cycle of the Enterprise Pulse Survey, released today (18), and which integrates IBGE's experimental statistics.

Small-sized enterprises (up to 49 employees, the largest contingent in the sample) were the most affected: of 2.7 million companies in this range, 44.9% suffered a negative impact. Among medium-sized enterprises (from 50 to 499 employees) and large-sized ones (500 employees and over), the impact was lower: 39.1% and 39.2%, respectively.

The survey also reveals that the highest incidences with little or no effect were found among medium (37.4%) and large-sized (35.6%) enterprises. Among those that were positively impacted, the percentage is higher among small companies, 27%, compared to 23.4% for medium and 25.3% for large enterprises.

“Four out of ten companies (44.8%) still feel negative effects from Covid-19. There is still a high incidence of negative impact, but we can already see some improvement, since, in the previous fortnight, the negative impact reached 62.4% of companies. The difference from the previous two weeks is the higher incidence of enterprises that reported small or no effects (28.2%) and those that reported positive effects (27%), which together add up to a higher percentage than those that reported negative effects. ”, Analyzes Flávio Magheli, IBGE coordinator of Short-Term Surveys on Enterprises.

Among the sectors, the negative effects were perceived by 47% of 1.2 million service enterprises, with a highlight to services rendered to families (55.5%) and professional, administrative and complementary services (48.3%) ; followed by 44% of 1.1 million trade enterprises, with a greater impact on the sale of vehicles, parts and motorcycles (52.4%).

“Despite the perceived negative impact, there was improvement in the perception of service enterprises, going from 65.5% in the previous fortnight to 47%; as well as in trade enterprises, which went from 64.1% to 44%. This improvement in perception is evidenced by the higher incidence of companies that reported small or no effect, or a positive effect. In the case of trade, 35.5% of the companies indicated a positive effect. This scenario portrays the reopening process and the greater flow of people affecting the activities. It is natural that the negative perception decreases every fortnight from now on, as social isolation decreases ”, highlights Mr. Magheli.

Industry, on the other hand, remained stable, with a negative impact in 42.9% of the 313.4 thousand enterprises; as well as construction, in which 38% of the 160,000 companies reported having been negatively affected.

Trade boosts in enterprises with drop in sales 

The perception of Covid-19's negative impact on sales or services sold during the first half of July reached 46.8% of the enterprises in operation; but, on the other hand, it was small or non-existent for 26.9%, and for 26.1%, the impact was positive. “Again, there is a widespread perception of reduced sales, but in relation to the previous fortnight, in some segments there is a higher incidence of companies that reported increase or null or non-existent effect”, observes Mr. Magheli.

Trade (51.6%), especially retail trade (54.6%), had the largest contingent of enterprises with perceived negative impact on sales; while, in the service sector, the activities most affected were professional, administrative and complementary services (48.1%) and services provided to families (47.7%). In industry and construction, the reduction in sales affected 40.8% and 31.9% of companies, respectively.

Regarding the positive impact on sales, the highlight is the sale of vehicles, parts and motorcycles, in which 40.5% of the enterprises perceived an increase in sales. In trade, this percentage is 32.7%; and in industry, 28%.

Percentage of enterprises with difficulties in manufacturing products or rendering services is stable

A total of 47.4% of the enterprises did not notice any change in relation to the impact on the manufacturing capacity of the products or the ability to serve customers; and, for 11.3%, those aspects became easier.  Difficulty was reported by 41.3% of the companies. The biggest negative impact was in the sale of vehicles, parts and motorcycles (58.1%) and wholesale trade (57.7%). In the services sector, the greatest impact was on the activities of other services (56.5%).

For most enterprises (51.8%), there was no significant change in access to suppliers of inputs, raw materials or goods, with a highlight to information and communication services (82.8%). But, for 38.6%, there was difficulty. The vehicle, parts and motorcycle trade segment stood out, with 72% reporting having faced difficulties, followed by the trade sector (47.4%).

Regarding the impact of Covid-19 on the ability to make regular payments during the pandemic, 47.3% of the enterprises found it difficult. For 46.3%, there were no significant changes compared to the previous fortnight; and 5.1% claimed it became easier.

“The perception of no change increases according to the size of the company, with 64.4% among the largest ones and 56.3% among medium-sized. By sector, the highlights are the construction sector, in which 78.7% reported that there was no change, and the activity of information and communication services, with 67.7% reporting that there was no change. On the other hand, we still have industry (44.4%), trade (52.1%) and services in general (47.2%) with a higher incidence of perceived difficulty ”, highlights Mr. Magheli.

Eight out of ten enterprises kept their employees

For 80.7% of the enterprises, there was no change in the number of employees; while to 13.5%, there was a reduction; and, to 5.3%, there was an increase. That behavior is widespread within the sectors of industry (79.2%), trade (77.6%), construction (77.6%) and services (84.3%). The highest percentage of companies dismissing employees is found in the medium (from 50 to 499 employees) and large-sized companies (500 and over).

“Despite the difficulties, most companies reported that they kept their staff. And, among the 380 thousand companies that signaled a reduction (13.5%), most (70%) dismissed less than 25% ”, points out the survey manager.

Regarding the measures adopted, 86.7% of the enterprises carried out information and prevention campaigns and adopted extra-hygiene measures; 22.4% brought employees' vacations forward; 38.7% adopted remote work; 12.8% obtained an emergency credit line for the payroll; 37.6% postponed the payment of taxes; 32% changed the method of delivering products or services; and 18% launched or started selling new products or services.

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