Small Business PMI: May 2020
The May NatWest UK Small Business PMI pointed to an improvement in business activity since April, with the downturn in private sector output levelling out from the record pace reported at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, small businesses continued to experience a severe shortfall of new work in May and reported widespread business closures across their supply chains, despite a boost as some parts of the UK economy began to reopen with social-distancing measures. While employment trends among small businesses appeared more resilient than in other areas of the economy, a reliance on the government’s furlough scheme was widely cited as helping limit redundancies.
“The data and economic findings in this report help build the picture of why it’s so important to stand behind our small businesses and help them through the difficulties,” said Andrew Harrison, head of Business Banking at NatWest.
Stephen Blackman, NatWest’s principle economist, added: “The slight uptick in May’s Small Business PMI tells us that, at least, the worst should be behind us.
“The pandemic’s longer-term and wider impacts depend, in large part, on the scale of permanent job losses as businesses operations and models adapt to new rules, behaviours and options.”
The full report is available to read below