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Enterprise Pulse Survey: 38.6% of the enterprises reported negative effects of the pandemic in the first half of August

September 15, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: September 15, 2020 01h57 PM

A total 38.6% of the 3.2 million enterprises in operation in the first half of August reported negative effects of the pandemic on their activities. For 33.9% the effect was small or inexistent and for 27.5%, the effect was positive. Large and medium-sized enterprises were the ones registering most often perceived improvement.

Construction (47.9%) and Trade (46.3%) enterprises reported the biggest occurrences of negative effects in the period surveyed. On the other hand, in the industrial sector, 38.9% reported small or inexistent impacts and, in the Services sector, that hit 41.9%, with a highlight to information and communication services (61.5%) and professional and administrative services (45.6%).

Results for the fifth round of Enterprise Pulse Survey show perceived effects of the pandemic by enterprises in operation at the end of the first half of August, against the second half of July. The survey monitors the main effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on non-financial enterprises and is part of the IBGE’s Experimental Statistics. Survey tables and presentation are on the right. For additional information, visit

Aggregation Total enterprises in operation (units) Reporting negative effects (%) Reporting no or small effects (%) Reporting positive effects (%)
Total 3.167.537 38,6 33,9 27,5
Ranges of employed persons 
up to 49 3.105.493 38,8 33,7 27,5
50 to 499 56.876 28,4 44,7 26,6
500 or more 5.168 25,5 46,6 27,9
Industry 344.835 32,8 38,9 28,2
Construction 192.379 47,9 37,4 14,7
Trade 1.253.392 46,3 23,2 30,5
Retail trade 890.909 47,6 20,0 32,5
Wholesale trade 221.034 41,2 34,5 24,3
Trade of vehicles, pieces or motorcycles  141.448 46,3 25,7 28,0
Services 1.376.931 31,7 41,9 26,4
Services rendered to families  337.439 36,5 30,5 32,9
information and communication services  115.504 19,6 61,5 18,8
professional, administrative anf complementary services  510.845 30,6 45,6 23,9
Transportation, support activities for transportation and mailing  166.654 31,1 51,9 16,9
Other services  246.488 33,4 33,9 32,7
Major Regions 
North 61.790 41,9 30,7 27,1
Northeast 507.291 20,4 27,6 52,0
Southeast 1.538.945 43,6 32,0 24,5
South 763.097 39,9 40,7 19,4
Central West 296.413 39,8 37,9 22,4
Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Pesquisa Pulso Empresa    

Negative effects were reported by 38.8% of the small-sized enterprises, 28.4% of the medium-sized and 25.5% of the big-sized ones. By major Region, the effects remained negative for 41.9% of the enterprises in the North, 43.6% of those in the Southeast, 39.9% in the South, 39.8% in the Central West and only 20.4% in the Northeast.

The perceived decrease in sales or in traded products as a result of the pandemic was reported by 36.1% of the enterprises. In addition to that, 33.6% said the effect was small or inexistent and 30.3% reported increase of sales during the pandemic.

By Major Region, the effect of sales decrease on sales was most severely perceived by enterprises in the Southeast (40.7%), Central West (39.8%) and North (38.3%). In the South Region, a bigger percentage of enterprises reported no or small effects compared to the previous fifteen days (46.2%), whereas in the Northeast, 48.7% reported perceived increase in sales.

Among the sectors, perceived decrease in sales was reported by 44.5% of Trade enterprises, the main highlight being retail trade (48.9%) and trade of vehicles, pieces and motorcycles (43.7%). For 41.3% of the enterprises in Services, 39.4% of those in Industry and 45.2% of the Construction enterprises, a highlight is the bigger occurrence of no or small effects on sales, against the previous week.

A highlight in the period was the higher incidence of non-existent effects/or increase of sales in the fifteen-day period, with best results registered by larger enterprises, in this case. Among large-sized enterprises, 80.4% reported no effect and/or increase of sales, whereas 16.8% reported perceived decrease. In the case of small-sized enterprises, 63.7% reported no effect and/or increase of sales, whereas 36.3% reported perceived decrease. As for production of goods and customer service capacity, in the first half of August, 48.8% of the enterprises in operation reported no significant changes, 33.7% reported difficulties and 17.4% found those activities easier. In addition to that, 47.6% had difficulty in reaching their suppliers and 42.4% perceived no changes.

Approximately 44.9% of the enterprises in operation reported difficulty in making regular payments in the period. Another 49.7% considered there were no significant changes.

As for the employed persons, about nine out of every 10 enterprises in operation (86.4% or 2.7 million) kept the number of workers in the first fifteen days of August against the previous week. Another 8.7% (277 thousand enterprises) reported reduction in their staff, with a reduction by up to 25% in 146 thousand enterprises (52.6%), with a highlight to small-sized enterprises, where 140 thousand (51.6%) reported reduction in the same range. In order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, prevention actions and extra hygiene measures were maintained, adopted by 92.9% of the enterprises. Besides,  32.3% remained working from home (remote work) , remote work and distance work) and 15.3% brought forward worker’s vacations.

A total 30.6% of the enterprises changed their method of delivery of products and services, whereas 13.2% launched or started to trade new products and/or services.

It is estimated that 32% of the enterprises postponed payment of taxes and that 10.9% were granted na emergency credit line for payroll.

In the adoption of those measures, about 23% of the enterprises felt supported by governmental authorities. Among those enterprises that postponed payment of taxes, the percentage was 44.5% and among those that were granted emergency credit lines for payroll, 62.4%.