Enterprises still closed by COVID-19 17% in Dec – NBS

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About 17 per cent of non-farm enterprises remained shut due to the adverse impact of COVID-19 as of December, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed on Wednesday.

The NBS disclosed this in its ‘COVID-19 impact monitoring report’ for November/December 2020.

Part of the report read on non-farm enterprise read, “Even with respondents back at work, however, evidence of churning in the non-farm enterprise sector suggests people’s working situations remain precarious.

“Around 17 per cent of households who had non-farm businesses during 2020 were not operating their business in December 2020.

“Of these, 61 per cent (11 per cent of all households with non-farm businesses) had also been closed for at least one month between June and November 2020.

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“Moreover, just 23 per cent of households with non-farm businesses in 2020 operated them continuously since the peak of restrictions in April/May.”

The summary of the report showed that households had become laxer regarding safe practices, with the share of respondents washing their hands after being in public all or most of the time dropping from 83 per cent to 73 per cent between July 2020 and November 2020.

Yet, it added, access to hygiene-related basic needs increased between July 2020 and November 2020 with the share of households having insufficient soap to wash hands in the last seven days declining from 24 per cent to 11 per cent.

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The report showed that the share of respondents who were working remained around pre-crisis levels in December 2020, although persistent churning in the non-farm enterprise sector suggested that some businesses were yet to fully stabilise.

It added that agriculture had become an even more important income source, with the share of households participating in crop-related farm work rising from 70 per cent to 80 per cent between the 2019 and 2020 agricultural seasons.

According to the report, more crop farming households were using farm inputs, and were positive about their revenues from crop sales in 2020/21 compared to previous agricultural seasons, potentially due to rising food prices.

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While rising food prices may help net producers, it stated, food price shocks continued to hit consumers, along with many other types of shocks.

Around 83 per cent of households reported an increase in the price of major food items that they consumed.

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