(Reuters) – Business conditions in Texas, the second-biggest U.S. state by economic output, deteriorated precipitously this month as the coronavirus pandemic slowed both supply and demand for a wide range of industries, surveys conducted by the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank show.
The Dallas Fed’s general business activity index, which measures manufacturers’ perceptions of broad economic conditions, fell to a record low, as did an index tracking their outlook for the sector. (For a graphic, please see https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/oakpezydvrd/index.html)
“If the self-imposed shutdown continues at this rate, it is my opinion the country will be entering a depression by fall,” one machinery manufacturer responding to the survey told the Dallas Fed. “I am scared of losing my income, my shop and my home.”
The bank’s index of factory activity also fell sharply, to its second-lowest reading since the measure’s first…