March salaries being paid says Novo Banco

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Many Portuguese companies managed to pay their staff salaries in March according to a study by one large national bank – Novo Banco.

A report from the bank’s research department into the salary processing of business account holders gives a valuable snapshot of which sectors are suffering the most difficulty paying staff salaries as a result of the pandemic.

The restaurant, catering, hotel and tourism sectors saw “considerable falls” according to a study by the bank’s department of research based on salary transfers and receipts for the bank’s account holders which represent “a significant sample of the Portuguese economy,” says the financial institution.

“Despite the already significant impacts of Covid-19 on Portugal’s economic activity, with various sectors forced to interrupt their operations or considerably curtail their production, the data suggests that between February and March, the processing of salaries by Novo Banco show that overall payments are “resilient although falling” states the bank study.

According to NB Research, “In global terms, the number of companies paying salaries fell 4% and the number of staff receiving salaries shrank by 6%.”

However, some sectors suffered sharper falls, namely the hotel, restaurant, catering and tourism sectors at a time when the Portuguese are required to stay at home to stem the advance of the pandemic.

“In terms of sectors, there is a significant correlation between the sectors with the greatest falls in salary processing and the activities that are hardest hit, in consumer terms, by the Covid-19 mitigation measures” states Novo Banco.

“The number of salary-paying companies saw significant falls in the ability to do so in the restaurant sector (-22%), tourism (-15%), leisure and sport (-13%), accommodation (-11%), car sales and repairs (-9%),” states the company managed by António Ramalho.

Construction was down by -2%, commerce, retail, wholesale and manufacturing were all down -1% in terms of salaries not being paid.

On the other hand, there were sectors that saw salary increases namely telecommunications, communications and media and IT (+6%), “Although in these cases with falls in the amounts of salaries being paid and in the number of staff receiving salaries,” states Novo Banco.

The data also showed that the Algarve and Azores are the regions that have suffered the most because of the importance of tourism on these regions with the number of companies processing salaries down -10%, -7% in the sum of salaries paid and -12% in the number of staff receiving salaries.