“Uncertainty is never good for business, and members are concerned about the unknown,” Iowa Association of Business and Industry President Mike Ralston said as the organization released its less-than-optimistic survey for second quarter 2020 expectations.
Citing concerns over potential supply disruptions caused by the spreading coronavirus, Ralston said in a statement Tuesday, “It’s not clear whether this will be a short-term or long-term issue.”
The new survey of the Iowa association’s 1,500 member companies — about half of which are manufacturers — reflected an anticipated drop in hiring, sales and capital expenditure in the April-through-June period.
“ABI members are already impacted by coronavirus. It affects so many things we don’t think about,” Ralston added.
Among the responses:
• Forty-one percent of respondents said they expect sales to remain the same over the quarter. Forty-seven percent believed sales will grow.
By contrast, 2019 second-quarter sales were projected to grow by 73 percent, according to a survey conducted last year.
• While 19 percent of respondents said they expect their employee head count to remain the same, 78 percent anticipate they will do no additional hiring.
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• While 79 percent in the first quarter had said they intended to make capital expenditures, that number dropped to 56 percent for the second quarter.
A continuing scarcity of skilled labor also contributed to respondents’ lowered expectations.
Survey results can be seen at https://bit.ly/2TCny12.
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