Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia Economic Outlook Survey

Business conditions deteriorated in 2020 compared with 2019, according to a new Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia survey of Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia members. While many respondents expect 2021 to yield slightly better business conditions than 2020, nearly 62 percent of the respondents believe that the pandemic will further decrease their sales or revenues this year.

The annual survey, now in its 11th year, offers a perspective on the region’s economic competitiveness and the issues that will affect the business community in the coming year. The survey, which was conducted in December 2020, polled 85 chamber members.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe effect on the Philadelphia economy, and our study found the overwhelming majority of respondents reported deteriorated business conditions for their region and companies from 2019 to 2020,” said Leigh-Ann Wilkins, economic outreach associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. “Eighty percent of the respondents believe regional business activity was lower in 2020 than in 2019, and when asked about COVID-19 impacts on their company sales or revenues, 45 percent reported decreases.”

Many respondents also experienced increased wage and benefit costs (45 percent) as well as increased capital expenditures (36 percent) in 2020. Additionally, most respondents expect these same costs to increase even further in 2021.

When asked about the most important problems currently facing their businesses, the respondents identified labor availability and firm solvency due to the pandemic and poor sales.

For more information, visit the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s website.

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