Second Industry Survey Suggests Growing Optimism

May 12, 2020

After months of news going from bad to worse, there are signs things might be turning around.  Stock markets around the world seem to thinks so. So do many corporate executives. Shelter-in-place orders are relaxing.

i-SIGMA members think so too, at least according to the results of  the second i-SIGMA COVID-19 survey measuring industry sentiment.

In mid-April, i-SIGMA conducted the first survey, asking members 10 questions to assess the impact of the shutdown on their business. As expected, the news wasn’t good.

Even then, however, the future was the bigger worry. A two-month downturn is manageable. A six-month drought could mean bankruptcy.

Optimism Growing

Those reporting they were very confident of survival rose 10% over the past month (59.6% to 69.4%) while those fearing they would not make it fell by 4% (6.5% in April to 2.4%).

Those expecting things to improve over the next 3 months rose 5% over the same period (69.4% to 74.3%) while those expecting things to worsen shrank almost 4% (9.3% to 5.7%).

Status Quo on Revenue

Both measures clearly indicating optimism as the financial toll seems relatively unchanged.

Generally speaking, approximately one-quarter of all respondents reported a reduction in revenue of 10% to 20% and one-fifth of respondents reporting revenue reduction of 41% to 60%. Those reporting a revenue reduction of 21% to 40% remained the largest group with on-third falling in that category.

There was some good news in this regard, however, with those reporting business revenue 80% to 99% falling from 10% to zero.

The Known Unknown

Maybe the best explanation for increasing optimism in the face of continued financial challenges is precisely because those financial challenges are continuing; that they have not gotten horribly worse. A month ago it was the end of the world. Now it just sucks. And it’s gonna suck for a while longer but not forever.

In the meantime, i-SIGMA will keep asking and reporting.

View the complete results from the latest i-SIGMA COVID-19 Impact Survey.