Throughout 2021, the coronavirus pandemic has continued to have significant impacts on sales in Cameroon. This is one of the conclusions in the National Institute of Statistics (INS)’s report on the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses in the country that year. "About eight out of ten firms reported a decline in sales in the thirty days that preceded the survey [ed. note: the survey was carried out in July 2021] (...) compared to the same period in 2020," the aforementioned report reads.
In other words, over the May-June 2021 period at least, sales were less dynamic year-on-year. According to the INS report, all company sizes were affected. Specifically, 72% of the informal production units (IPU) surveyed, 75% of the large companies, and 78% of SMEs reported the same fact. This hints at the generalized nature of the problem.
The most affected industries are forestry and logging (85.7% of the surveyed firms), the food industry (87.5%), and other manufacturing industries (80.6%).
The INS does not provide reasons to explain the year-to-year sales decline. However, on closer observation, it appears the strong sales recorded by businesses in 2020 may be due to the massive purchases made by households when they were fearing total confinement at the peak of the health crisis.
At the same time, the comparative decline in those sales in 2021 can be explained by the overall rise in prices in markets as a result of the explosion of shipping costs, increase in the price of raw materials in international markets and supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.