Economic Insights — Starting early in the pandemic, Elif Sen began surveying Third District businesses every week. The first few weeks of responses tell us a lot about how they're faring during these unprecedented times.
The Philadelphia Fed's Research Department has long conducted monthly and quarterly Business Outlook Surveys. These surveys help us assess economic conditions in our region. The speed and severity of the COVID-19 crisis, however, prompted us to create a weekly survey that focused on questions specific to COVID-19 and related issues and policies. In this article, we describe the construction of our COVID Survey. We also identify the survey's main findings: Business conditions deteriorated in April and somewhat stabilized in May, and firms applying for funds through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) experienced delays, but these were largely resolved within a few weeks.
This article appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2020 edition of Economic Insights. Download and read the full issue.