Number of Bulgarian non-financial firms expecting to shut down falls in April - NSI

Number of Bulgarian non-financial firms expecting to shut down falls in April - NSI

The percentage of Bulgarian non-financial enterprises expecting to close down due to the coronavirus crisis has decreased on a monthly comparison basis in April, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on Wednesday.

In April, 1.6% of Bulgaria-based non-financial enterprises expected to terminate their operations within a month because of the coronavirus crisis, the NSI said in a statement, citing the results of a new survey conducted between May 7 and May 25 among more than 3,700 companies employing about 230,000 people combined.

This compared with 2.0% of non-financial enterprises expecting to terminate their operations within a month in March.

The government imposed a countrywide state of emergency on March 13, shutting down restaurants, bars, cinema houses and theatres, schools, sports halls and shopping centres and banning intercity bus travel in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease. The state of emergency was lifted on May 13 and was replaced by a month-long state of epidemic emergency starting May 14 as the daily number of new coronavirus cases decreased. The results of the poll also show that 18.5% of the companies had to lay off personnel in April as a result of the crisis, up from 17.2% in March, while 36.8% said they have put employees on paid leave and nearly 27.0% have put workers on unpaid leave.

Companies that chose to send their employees to work from home during the pandemic represent 26.5% of all respondents.

According to the NSI, 80% of the companies expect their headcount to remain intact within the next month, while 17.0% expect the number of their employees to decrease. Just 2% plan new hires in June.

The results of the poll also indicate that 57.6% of the companies booked lower monthly operating revenues in April, compared to 53.7% in March, while 32.1% reported no changes. As many as 9.2% have seen a month-on-month rise in revenue in April. Among companies working in the filed on culture, sports and entertainment, nearly 68.0%, saw their revenues fall in April, followed by companies in the trade, transportation and hospitality sector with 67.3% and manufacturing with 55.8%, NSI said.

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