44% of UK firms do not have enough cash to last six months – survey

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Around 44% of firms have said they do not have enough cash in the bank to last longer than six months, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) latest business impact of coronavirus survey also revealed that 22% of companies halted trading over the two weeks between April 20 and May 3.

Meanwhile, 6% of companies who said they were trading during the period said they had restarted operations following a pause in trading after the lockdown.

The latest set of data highlights the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on businesses across the UK.

Closed shops on Camden High Street
The survey shows almost a quarter of companies halted trading over the two weeks between April 20 and May 3 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

However, firms still trading raised significant concerns over cash flows, with 4.3% of businesses reporting that they have no cash reserves to fall back on.

It said 44% believed their cash reserves will last them less than six months, with 27.1% of firms confident they have enough cash to last over six months.

The survey also revealed that most companies who have continued to trade have seen their turnover decrease to some extent.

A quarter of companies said their turnover has fallen by more than 50% since the pandemic.

The ONS also revealed that 91% of businesses which paused trading said they have applied to furlough staff, compared with 72% of firms who have continued to trade.

In a separate document, the ONS also revealed that the price of high-demand products dipped by 0.1% in the week to May 10 compared to the previous week.

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