NKBA Pulse: Pandemic Impact Continues to Slide

posted on May. 21, 2020, at 7:50 a.m.

NKBA Staff

The overall impact of the COVID-19 crisis fell to its lowest point in eight weeks in NKBA’s weekly poll. By Dianne M. Pogoda

The effects of the coronavirus health crisis have continued their downward trajectory in the NKBA Pulse poll for a sixth consecutive week. Overall, nearly 800 respondents rated the lockdown’s impact at an average of 6.9 on a scale of 1 (no impact) to 10 (significant impact) —  the lowest since the initial survey on March 26, and the first time the mark has slipped below 7. The rating fell from last week’s 7.4 by 0.5 point, also the largest single-week drop.

All four member categories recorded a softening in COVID-19’s impact. Building and construction pros’ rating was down 0.2 point to 7.2; retailers rated impact at 7, down by 0.3 point; Designers were down 0.4 point to 6.9, and manufacturers’ rating fell by 0.5 point to 6.8.

The continued downward trend coincides with more states lifting restrictions on retail businesses and manufacturing plants reopening, and allowing contractors to resume work in clients’ homes.

NKBA’s weekly two-question survey measures the impact of the pandemic and resulting lockdown on members’ businesses, and whether demand for their goods and services is increasing, decreasing or staying the same.

In a further indicator of optimism, the number of respondents who said demand was decreasing fell by six points to 24% overall. This corresponds with an eight-point hike in those who said demand was increasing, to 38%, while another 38% said business demand was the same as the prior week, down 2%.

Manufacturers showed the biggest surge in increasing demand, up 14 points to 42%. Designers and builders who reported demand was increasing each rose by eight points, to 29% and 41%, respectively, while 46% of retailers said demand was increasing, up five points from last week.

Six weeks ago, in the report of April 16, 62% of respondents overall reported demand for their goods and services was decreasing, while just 9% said it was on the rise.

The NKBA Pulse will continue to poll members and report weekly. To participate in the poll, email marketresearch@nkba.org.

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