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Results of non-financial corporations in 2020 Q1

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The data from the Central Balance Sheet Data Office Quarterly Survey (CBQ) for 2020 Q1 show that the lockdown measures introduced in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis had a sharp adverse impact on the activity of the sample firms in the first quarter of the year. This led to a sharp contraction in ordinary profit and profitability levels, even reducing final net profit to a negative aggregate value, something that had not happened in the CBQ since 2002. In addition, the need to cover operating deficits contributed to a rise in these firms’ debt, and the share of ordinary profit (gross operating profit plus financial revenue) used for interest payments also rose slightly, reversing the downward trend of this ratio in recent years. The article includes a box that analyses firms’ liquidity needs in 2020 Q1 (as a result of the fall in activity, investment in real assets and debt repayments) and the financial deterioration recorded by these firms.
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Economic bulletin / Banco de España. Analytical articles
Economic bulletin / Banco de España [Artículos], n. 3, 2020
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