Worst hit regions in the UK named as economic impact of coronavirus laid bare

New figures show the areas in the UK where businesses have been worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

South West – 61.9% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue

www.mirror.co.uk

According to new statistics from the ONS, Scotland was hit the hardest with 62% of businesses reporting a decrease in turnover outside of the normal range.

This compared to 58% in England and Wales, and 49% in Northern Ireland.

In terms of regions, the North East was hardest hit with 64% of businesses saying their turnover had fallen by at least 20%.

By contrast, Northern Ireland saw the lowest impact, with 49% seeing a drop, and had the highest proportion of businesses with turnover unaffected at 28%.

But while 58% of businesses still trading reported a fall in turnover, some 12% said turnover had increased.

Worst hit regions according to the ONS

  1. North East – 64.3% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  2. Scotland – 62% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  3. South West – 61.9% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  4. Yorkshire & the Humber – 61.2% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  5. West Midlands – 60.9% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  6. North West – 60.1% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  7. East Midlands – 59.3% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  8. South East – 59.2% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  9. London – 58.9% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  10. East of England – 58.7% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  11. Wales – 57.5% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue
  12. Northern Ireland – 48.9% of businesses reporting a fall in revenue

When it came to business resilience – that is to say how well prepared companies are to handle a downturn – Wales was found to be at the most risk.

Some 44% of firms in the principality had less than 6 months cash reserves, compared to 41% in England, 37% in Scotland and 35% in Northern Ireland.

The worst hit sector by the virus was arts, entertainment and recreation – with 61% of businesses still closed and 48% of businesses not planning to reopen in the next two weeks either.

Accommodation and food services were next worst off, with 22% of firms not planning to start trading for at least 2 weeks and another 26% closed but looking to reopen soon.

The new figures come as the ONS also reports a staggering 650,000 drop in the number of people employed on payrolls and a more than doubling of those claiming benefits.

Worse could be to come too, with one business in three saying it plans to lay off staff in the next three months.

But not everything is faring badly.

“There were three industries where 99% or more of businesses reported continuing to trade (including trading for more than the last two weeks or had started trading again within the last two weeks after a pause in trading),” the ONS said in satement.

It highlighted water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities sector (100%); the human health and social work activities sector (private sector businesses only) (99%); and the manufacturing sector (99%).