In today’s post, we will be looking at a different survey, the World Bank’s 2018 Enterprise Survey for The Gambia. The ES 2018 has a very small sample size, 151 firms, meaning it is not representative of Gambia firms. Please take the figures below with a grain of salt. Going through the dataset, what struck us was the question, “In Last FY, Losses As % of Annual Sales Due To Power Outages”. This is how much the firm lost due to power outages in the past year as a percentage of their sales.
Before looking into the losses, let us have a look at the distribution of the duration of power loss by industries. We have removed industries that had only 1 firm interviewed during the survey. Figure 1 below is a bar chart indicating the average duration of power outages across industries. Except for a few industries like Garments, Wholesale etc. most industries face at least 5 hours of power outages with food recording the highest of about 13 hours.
Let us now analyze the losses, Figure 2 shows a boxplot of these losses by industry. The most affected industries are the obvious ones, Media, Fabricated Metals and Furniture. The surprising result at first glance (but not so now that we have had time to think about it) are Hotels and Restaurants. There is a high variation in this industry, with losses ranging from less than 10% to more than 30%. This makes sense since the hotels and restaurant industry have a big difference in terms of size of establishments. Large hotels would have their own generators, reducing the amount of loss in sales whilst smaller players, even with a generator, would incur significant costs due to their size. One might also wonder why food industry is not largely affected with losses ranging from about 5% to 20% despite registering the highest duration of power outrage. Our assumption is operations in this industry is not so much dependent on power supply. Industries such as Construction, Wholesalers and Servicing of vehicles experience the least loss from power outages, which makes sense.
The figure above shows a disaggregated view of the effects of power outages, giving us more insight into the effects of power outages on losses by industry. The above provides us with way to determine not only where losses are most, but also a means to improve output moving forward by focusing on the industries with the most losses from power outages.