COVID-19: Impact on firms

Starting in 2020 and for a few years, the COVID-19 pandemic affected all parts of the world. The breadth and depth of the effects of the outbreak on the world population and its productive capacity was significant. To study the impact of the pandemic on the private sector, the Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) of the World Bank and the Enterprise Analysis Unit carried out multiple Covid-19 Enterprise Surveys in 2020-2022. All datasets are available on the data portal.

The data collection focused on 3 components.

  1. Follow-up Surveys implemented by phone in economies with recent WBES. The instrument measured changes in sales, employment and input purchases as well as financial responses, liquidity problems and policies implemented to address these problems. The surveys were administered to the full sample of the recent WBES, which had been drawn earlier to be representative of the private sector; thus they provide an estimate of the impact of COVID-19 on the private sector.
  2. Covid-19 module for ongoing ES to measure the effect of the virus in economies where an ongoing WBES was underway or planned. The additional questions for the on-going surveys are available here
  3. Covid-19 module of informal businesses supplemented the standard informal questionnaire that had been used in recent years. It assessed how this often-marginalized sector coped with and responded to the virus outbreak and its broader ramifications.


The indicators presented here provide a snapshot of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic according to the Covid-19 Enterprise Surveys. All survey datasets are available from the data portal

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