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Special Questions

Special Questions

March 30, 2020

For this month’s survey, Texas business executives were asked supplemental questions on the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Results below include responses from participants of all three surveys: Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey, Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey and Texas Retail Outlook Survey.

Report in PDF

Texas Business Outlook Surveys

Data were collected March 17–25, and 400 Texas business executives responded to the survey.

How is the coronavirus (COVID-19) currently impacting each of these measures of your business?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Uncertainty 2.0% 12.2% 71.3% 83.5% 3.0% 11.4% 14.5%
Input prices 59.3% 15.6% 7.7% 23.3% 11.0% 6.4% 17.4%
Selling prices 60.3% 4.4% 2.9% 7.3% 17.9% 14.5% 32.5%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 36.7% 40.1% 20.9% 61.0% 1.3% 1.0% 2.3%
Production/revenue/sales 16.5% 33.0% 43.7% 76.7% 3.9% 2.9% 6.8%
Demand for products or services 17.4% 27.9% 39.6% 67.5% 9.0% 6.1% 15.1%
Number of employees 53.3% 21.9% 12.4% 34.3% 9.0% 3.4% 12.4%
Hours worked 38.4% 23.3% 15.1% 38.4% 16.1% 7.2% 23.3%
Capital spending 33.9% 16.6% 23.1% 39.6% 9.8% 16.6% 26.4%

NOTE: 400 responses.

Downloadable chart | Chart data

Respondents indicating an effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             36.0%
Average positive impact             28.0%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 230 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on 53 responses.

Respondents indicating an effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment is temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           69.1% 30.9%
Positive impact           73.7% 26.3%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 110 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on 38 responses.

How do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) to impact each of these measures of your business going forward in 2020?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Input prices 38.8% 24.2% 10.2% 34.4% 19.0% 7.8% 26.8%
Selling prices 43.1% 17.5% 7.6% 25.1% 20.4% 11.5% 31.9%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 29.7% 45.0% 21.3% 66.3% 2.6% 1.3% 3.9%
Production/revenue/sales 9.2% 34.1% 47.2% 81.3% 6.4% 3.1% 9.5%
Demand for products or services 9.6% 33.5% 41.3% 74.8% 9.9% 5.7% 15.6%
Number of employees 36.2% 36.2% 19.7% 55.9% 6.7% 1.3% 7.9%
Hours worked 32.9% 31.6% 21.2% 52.8% 11.1% 3.1% 14.2%
Capital spending 32.3% 22.8% 29.1% 52.0% 7.1% 8.7% 15.7%

NOTE: 400 responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             31.0%
Average positive impact             26.1%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 256 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on 53 responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment would be temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           69.4% 30.6%
Positive impact           62.1% 37.9%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 180 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on 29 responses.

As you plan for your business, how long do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact to last?

               
Less than 3 months             19.5%
3–6 months             45.7%
6–9 months             16.2%
9–12 months             7.4%
More than 12 months             11.2%

NOTE: 394 responses.

NOTE: Survey respondents were given the opportunity to provide comments. These comments can be found on the individual survey Special Questions results pages, accessible by the tabs above.

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey

Data were collected March 17–25, and 106 Texas manufacturers responded to the surveys.

How is the coronavirus (COVID-19) currently impacting each of these measures of your business?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Uncertainty 1.0% 15.2% 77.1% 92.4% 1.0% 5.7% 6.7%
Input prices 65.7% 15.2% 4.8% 20.0% 8.6% 5.7% 14.3%
Selling prices 68.9% 4.9% 1.9% 6.8% 16.5% 7.8% 24.3%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 32.7% 47.1% 18.3% 65.4% 1.0% 1.0% 1.9%
Production 27.5% 43.1% 24.5% 67.6% 2.9% 2.0% 4.9%
Demand for products or services 21.9% 33.3% 29.5% 62.9% 7.6% 7.6% 15.2%
Number of employees 60.6% 22.2% 7.1% 29.3% 8.1% 2.0% 10.1%
Hours worked 41.7% 29.1% 8.7% 37.9% 14.6% 5.8% 20.4%
Capital spending 33.7% 15.4% 21.2% 36.5% 11.5% 18.3% 29.8%

NOTE: 106 responses.

Downloadable chart | Chart data

Respondents indicating an effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             30.0%
Average positive impact             29.4%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 62 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on 16 responses.

Respondents indicating an effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment is temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           69.2% 30.8%
Positive impact           88.9% 11.1%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 26 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on nine responses.

How do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) to impact each of these measures of your business going forward in 2020?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Input prices 34.3% 29.4% 7.8% 37.3% 23.5% 4.9% 28.4%
Selling prices 45.5% 22.8% 8.9% 31.7% 16.8% 5.9% 22.8%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 23.5% 50.0% 22.5% 72.5% 3.9% 0.0% 3.9%
Production 13.3% 50.5% 30.5% 81.0% 4.8% 1.0% 5.7%
Demand for products or services 8.6% 45.7% 33.3% 79.0% 7.6% 4.8% 12.4%
Number of employees 39.0% 38.1% 17.1% 55.2% 3.8% 1.9% 5.7%
Hours worked 30.5% 36.2% 16.2% 52.4% 12.4% 4.8% 17.1%
Capital spending 28.8% 26.9% 26.9% 53.8% 5.8% 11.5% 17.3%

NOTE: 106 responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             26.4%
Average positive impact             23.3%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 77 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on 13 responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment would be temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           75.5% 24.5%
Positive impact           83.3% 16.7%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 53 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on six responses.

As you plan for your business, how long do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact to last?

               
Less than 3 months             18.1%
3–6 months             48.6%
6–9 months             19.0%
9–12 months             7.6%
More than 12 months             6.7%

NOTE: 105 responses.

Special Questions Comments

These comments have been edited for publication.

Chemical Manufacturing

  • The major impact from the coronavirus is the killing of any economic momentum at all costs to isolate. It may take years to recover the huge loss of jobs and dampening of the economy.
  • We are experiencing an additional impact of [low] oil prices.

Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing

  • The situation is too unknown and fluid. We are open and producing products today. But we might be shut down tomorrow and for an unknown period of time.

Primary Metal Manufacturing

  • We are experiencing a strange order intake; some more financially strong customers are increasing their raw-material inventory levels while others are decreasing them. We have seen a slight uptick in business that will be short-lived.

Fabricated Metal Manufacturing

  • We are less efficient due to all of the extra procedures that we have to incorporate in our processes.
  • It is a fluid situation. Everyone is concerned, but businesses don’t seem to be overreacting now. (We serve businesses and not the general public.)
  • The more significant concerns are for the future, when the virus is more established.

Machinery Manufacturing

  • It is too soon to know the impact of material availability, but we are seeing an instant decrease in orders and inquiries, which means when the current work in-house is completed (mid to end of April), there will be no work to replace it. Obviously, this is not a good outlook. If the self-imposed shutdown continues at this rate, it is my opinion the country will be entering a depression by fall. My concern is, of course, for my men, our families and our shop. To be absolutely honest, I am scared of losing my income, my shop and my home. We cannot survive a dramatic loss of work.
  • This is uncharted territory for our company. We are fortunate that we have three to six months of cash reserves, but beyond that time period, it would become problematic.
  • Oil company budgeting is being slashed as we talk now. My business had been paying down debt, but we see that our cash flow will be reduced significantly in the near future, and the precautionary measures that we are implementing are hurting our efficiency to keep our business reacting quickly.
  • We are largely affected by the drop in oil prices.

Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing

  • Prolonged lower oil prices will impact our largest customer. Potentially reduced demand from postponed capital expenditures is likely to reduce business-to-business activity, which is our primary revenue stream. We do not expect capital expenditures to resume as quickly as previously assumed since the virus impact appears to be deeper, with business interruptions. We assume that capital expenditures that could be postponed most likely will be, as businesses grapple with the actual cost of the pandemic and lost productivity.
  • This pandemic seems overblown when you look at the actual death toll (my opinion at this time, anyway), but the impact on the economy will be very real and much more devastating than this virus.
  • This is a very, very uncertain time. You should survey us again in one week—I would expect things to be different. I’m not sure if it will be better or worse, but we should understand directionally where things are going by then.

Apparel Manufacturing

  • Our manufacturing environment has nearly 300 people in close proximity to each other, which as you can guess is a serious concern.

Wood Product Manufacturing

  • We have no idea how long this will take.

Paper Manufacturing

  • At this point, everything that I say is really conjecture. I readily admit that I have no idea how widespread and long term the effects of the coronavirus virus will be.

Printing and Related Support Activities

  • Please pass the coronavirus small business [relief] bill ASAP!

Miscellaneous Manufacturing

  • Business closures are causing supply-chain disruptions/stoppages and must end quickly—within 2 weeks—or the impact will last a decade, in my opinion. This is based on my experience with the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey

Data were collected March 17–25, and 294 Texas business executives responded to the surveys.

How is the coronavirus (COVID-19) currently impacting each of these measures of your business?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Uncertainty 2.4% 11.1% 69.2% 80.3% 3.8% 13.5% 17.3%
Input prices 57.0% 15.7% 8.7% 24.5% 11.9% 6.6% 18.5%
Selling prices 57.1% 4.3% 3.2% 7.4% 18.4% 17.0% 35.5%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 38.2% 37.5% 21.9% 59.4% 1.4% 1.1% 2.5%
Revenue/sales 12.5% 29.3% 50.7% 80.0% 4.3% 3.2% 7.5%
Demand for products or services 15.7% 25.9% 43.4% 69.2% 9.4% 5.6% 15.0%
Number of employees 50.7% 21.8% 14.3% 36.1% 9.3% 3.9% 13.2%
Hours worked 37.2% 21.2% 17.4% 38.5% 16.7% 7.6% 24.3%
Capital spending 34.0% 17.0% 23.8% 40.8% 9.2% 16.0% 25.2%

NOTE: 294 responses.

Downloadable chart | Chart data

Respondents indicating an effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             38.2%
Average positive impact             27.4%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 168 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on 37 responses.

Respondents indicating an effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment is temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           69.0% 31.0%
Positive impact           69.0% 31.0%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 84 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on 29 responses.

How do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) to impact each of these measures of your business going forward in 2020?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Input prices 40.4% 22.3% 11.0% 33.3% 17.4% 8.9% 26.2%
Selling prices 42.2% 15.6% 7.1% 22.7% 21.6% 13.5% 35.1%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 32.0% 43.2% 20.9% 64.0% 2.2% 1.8% 4.0%
Revenue/sales 7.7% 28.1% 53.3% 81.4% 7.0% 3.9% 10.9%
Demand for products or services 10.0% 28.9% 44.3% 73.2% 10.7% 6.1% 16.8%
Number of employees 35.1% 35.4% 20.7% 56.1% 7.7% 1.1% 8.8%
Hours worked 33.8% 29.9% 23.1% 53.0% 10.7% 2.5% 13.2%
Capital spending 33.6% 21.3% 30.0% 51.3% 7.6% 7.6% 15.2%

NOTE: 294 responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             32.9%
Average positive impact             27.0%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 179 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on 40 responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment would be temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           66.9% 33.1%
Positive impact           56.5% 43.5%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 127 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on 23 responses.

As you plan for your business, how long do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact to last?

               
Less than 3 months             20.1%
3–6 months             44.6%
6–9 months             15.2%
9–12 months             7.3%
More than 12 months             12.8%

NOTE: 289 responses.

Special Questions Comments

These comments have been edited for publication.

Utilities

  • I believe that fear is the greatest issue we face with COVID-19.

Truck Transportation

  • This [COVID-19] wouldn't be a big deal if the media wasn't hyping it as a way to get President Trump.

Support Activities for Transportation

  • I simply cannot predict how this will impact our industry, and I believe pricing, etc., will be very volatile.

Warehousing and Storage

  • The question posed was around the impact of COVID-19 on the business, so that is what I have tried to answer. However, the crude oil share war currently engaged by the Saudis and the Russians is going to have a far greater impact on our business conditions. While I believe COVID-19 may decrease demand by 5 percent, I would guess the cratering of the oil markets will have another 20–25 percent impact on demand and prices for at least the next six to nine months.

Publishing Industries (Except Internet)

  • There is near-term uncertainty due to lack of travel to show new interactive AR [augmented reality] demos and have some personal interface relationship group meetings, which are more effective than videoconferencing. Also, clients and customers probably will be significantly slower to make decisions in some cases, due to remote locations and hesitation to commit funding and orders—in some cases due to cash flow management being very important for most organizations going forward. Ironically, the market for advanced interactive user interface training and education software is growing, with the virus causing a shift to remote work and interaction. However, group meetings and money are needed to close orders for these solutions, at least in the short term.

Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services

  • There is lots of speculation at this point on any forecasts. We are hopeful the “lockdowns” have an impact on reducing the virus' spread and [result in] faster recovery of the economy. We are hopeful a vaccine or cure emerges from the ingenuity of very smart people working together around the world, and that government bureaucracies reduce the hurdles to help us all get there faster.

Credit Intermediation and Related Activities

  • We have both negative and positive impacts. Our hope is that they balance each other out.
  • We anticipate a natural negative impact but can only guess at the extent of the impact.
  • We are a subprime lender, so demand will be up, but we are concerned about credit losses and will tighten underwriting.

Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities

  • We may begin to be forced to lay off people in a month. We are holding off as long as we can. The consumer is paralyzed. The ripple effect of this is beginning to be felt throughout all areas of business. B2B [business-to-business] customers do not want to be sold to. We have had potential customers say selling right now is "offensive." We need help from the Fed [Federal Reserve] and Congress. We are hopeful the Fed will assist in helping all small and medium businesses with the cash flow necessary to keep our people employed. We strongly believe we can keep our employees’ jobs in place once business activity begins moving again. However, assistance is needed through these "shut-in" periods. Business activity is simply at a standstill.

Real Estate

  • The impact of the virus is directly impacted by the leadership at every level, and hopefully, responsible leadership will not be guided by so much abundance of caution that it destroys the economy for years.

Rental and Leasing Services

  • Once you shut off an economy for whatever reason, it doesn't all come back quickly if at all once you remove the condition that shut it off. I think if the virus dissipates this summer, the fears it will return in the fall will hold the economy down. I suspect an efficacious vaccine will have to be developed and proven before that negative is removed from the economy. But the economy was rolling over in our industry prior to the coronavirus because of the conflict between Russia and the Middle East regarding oil prices. An oil decline is a net negative to our industry in Texas, no doubt—proven fact! So, we were headed south prior to the coronavirus, but it has certainly hastened the exit and will delay the recovery. My best guess is 12 to 24 months to recover.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

  • While we may start recovery in three to six months, the impact and speed of recovery will go on for nine to 12 months and probably extend for the next two years. Remember, it is not just the U.S., but the whole world.
  • First quarter 2020 started as the best first quarter in firm history. We have a spike in demand right now in response to the pandemic, but do expect that demand will flatten and likely go negative if we are disrupted more than 30 days. After that, we don't know. Right now modeling has a decline in revenue in the 7 to 10 percent range.
  • You have two simultaneous black swan events: virus and oil pricing.
  • So much now is wait and see. Estimates are only rough at this point. We could shift to a 30 percent decrease. We will easily lose a quarter in 2020 and will be watching March, April and May results closely. Coronavirus and oil shock are a double hit impacting us globally. As in 2009, there is some very negative impact to clients that is driving immediate work, but that will taper off and then we are not sure what replaces it.
  • It is too soon to tell how this impacts the law business. Transactions are likely to slow in the near and maybe medium term. Counseling, restructurings and litigation may well increase.
  • We service the grocery industry directly. As grocery consumption increases, so does our workload and revenue. When it levels out, so will ours.
  • Small businesses likes us urgently need additional credit lines or loans to overcome the coronavirus-related downturn and to meet payroll, which is our biggest expense. Our revenues are impacted significantly.
  • Almost all of our projects have been postponed or canceled at this time.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on actual business appears to be limited, but the impact on the stock market and available money is a big unknown.

Management of Companies and Enterprises

  • The economic aftershock from all the business closings will far outweigh the impact from the virus itself in the long term.

Administrative and Support Services

  • Many conventions have canceled or been postponed.
  • We were having the most productive and profitable year since we opened in 1998, with the hiring of qualified and "good" inspectors and expansion of our services offered by new capital equipment; then BOOM, it’s knocked down.
  • The communication from the government that employers can continue to pay salaries/payroll taxes and will be reimbursed is sorely missing key points. Tax credits will not work. We need cash, and we need it prior to paying employees and payroll taxes. Smaller companies like mine with less than $2 million in revenue do not have the financial reserves or access to bank loans like larger companies do. We are a staffing company, providing contract employees. Also, if we are locked down in Houston like New York, etc., how do I receive checks from clients into my bank if they're all closed? I've been in business since 1992, and I would hate to have the government’s actions on how to fund businesses and employees not be immediate and easily navigated.
  • These responses are wild guesses. So little is known about how our customers are going to respond to the coronavirus in regard to continuing projects. It's hard to imagine much if any new hiring until more is known about the hit to demand from their customers.
  • Infection levels are expected to peak in mid-April, and the impact will be felt through late July or early August. If the remote office model is successful, expect significant pressure on the office rental market and companies’ re-evaluation of office space economics. Food delivery services should do very well in the social distancing environment.
  • We are unable to forecast (right now) any impact to our businesses.

Waste Management and Remediation Services

  • After surviving a dreadful 2019 in the recycling industry, business was beginning to gain positive traction in first quarter 2020. Then COVID-19 hit. Our business will do what is necessary to survive. There will be business readjustments everywhere. There is lots of uncertainty. We need the government to demonstrate to the public a strong sense of trust with a can-do attitude, which is nearly nonexistent right now.

Educational Services

  • COVID-19 is directly impacting our business by prohibiting us to work in schools. We are looking for innovative solutions to continue to serve the students, teachers and leaders we support. Additionally, we are looking at assistance to help mitigate our losses at this time. We remain optimistic that once this passes, we will emerge stronger as a company and continue to help positively transform the lives of kids.

Ambulatory Health Care Services

  • COVID-19 has brought to light the significant role of home health and hospice services in support of the senior health care. CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] needs to authorize home health and hospice services to take a proactive role in monitoring seniors at home in order to minimize COVID-19 in the community.

Amusement, Gambling and Recreation Industries

  • Since the mayor today shut down all restaurants and bars, of which we are one, even as a private club, I'm sure you can calculate the significant impact this will have. The longer we are closed, the greater the impact. We are just trying to do our part by paying 50 percent of all our employees' salaries, letting them use accrued vacation time and providing some work that needs to be done at the facilities. We are also starting curbside service. This will not only provide a service to our members but will help our employees feel productive. In other words, we are really trying to literally and figuratively make lemonade out of lemons.

Accommodation

  • The initial impact will likely be into this summer, but there will be long-ranging impacts to travel and meetings that could last for years.
  • Expect declines in business and leisure travel to impact our industry through the Christmas holiday. Ideally, early 2021 business will resume travel, and transient customers will return to vacations or seasonal travel. Expect revenue and EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] declines to increase pressure on capital improvements and staffing levels.
  • We really cannot tell what the impact will be longer term. Right now, we are closing hotels, laying off employees and cutting pay, and occupancies are down to below 20 percent.

Food Services and Drinking Places

  • We are hopeful things will get better.
  • We are not ready for this [COVID-19].
  • This [COVID-19] is a political event overblown by the media.

Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional and Similar Organizations

  • Our business retention efforts are going to exponentially increase while our outreach and marketing will suffer.
  • Our entire organization is telecommuting due to coronavirus concerns through at least March 30.

Texas Retail Outlook Survey

Data were collected March 17–25, and 56 Texas retailers responded to the surveys.

How is the coronavirus (COVID-19) currently impacting each of these measures of your business?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Uncertainty 1.8% 10.7% 67.9% 78.6% 7.1% 12.5% 19.6%
Input prices 55.4% 16.1% 7.1% 23.2% 16.1% 5.4% 21.4%
Selling prices 56.6% 7.5% 5.7% 13.2% 20.8% 9.4% 30.2%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 20.0% 43.6% 30.9% 74.5% 5.5% 0.0% 5.5%
Sales 3.7% 24.1% 55.6% 79.6% 7.4% 9.3% 16.7%
Demand for products or services 5.5% 29.1% 49.1% 78.2% 5.5% 10.9% 16.4%
Number of employees 48.1% 20.4% 13.0% 33.3% 13.0% 5.6% 18.5%
Hours worked 23.2% 21.4% 19.6% 41.1% 25.0% 10.7% 35.7%
Capital spending 25.5% 12.7% 20.0% 32.7% 20.0% 21.8% 41.8%

NOTE: 56 responses.

Downloadable chart | Chart data

Respondents indicating an effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             37.8%
Average positive impact             37.8%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 38 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on nine responses.

Respondents indicating an effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment is temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           60.0% 40.0%
Positive impact           75.0% 25.0%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 15 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on eight responses.

How do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) to impact each of these measures of your business going forward in 2020?

  No effect Slight increase Significant increase Increase (combined) Slight decrease Significant decrease Decrease (combined)
Input prices 40.0% 23.6% 3.6% 27.3% 25.5% 7.3% 32.7%
Selling prices 40.7% 16.7% 11.1% 27.8% 24.1% 7.4% 31.5%
  No effect Slight negative effect Significant negative effect Negative effect (combined) Slight positive effect Significant positive effect Positive effect (combined)
Availability of materials/inputs 14.3% 48.2% 30.4% 78.6% 3.6% 3.6% 7.1%
Sales 1.8% 32.1% 51.8% 83.9% 8.9% 5.4% 14.3%
Demand for products or services 1.8% 35.7% 46.4% 82.1% 8.9% 7.1% 16.1%
Number of employees 25.0% 37.5% 28.6% 66.1% 7.1% 1.8% 8.9%
Hours worked 20.0% 32.7% 25.5% 58.2% 18.2% 3.6% 21.8%
Capital spending 28.6% 19.6% 30.4% 50.0% 8.9% 12.5% 21.4%

NOTE: 56 responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the demand for products or services were asked to estimate the impact.

               
Average negative impact             34.1%
Average positive impact             25.2%

NOTES: The average negative impact calculation is based on 39 reponses. The average positive impact calculation is based on six responses.

Respondents indicating an expected effect on the number of employees were asked to indicate whether the change in employment would be temporary or permanent.

            Temporary Permanent
Negative impact           60.0% 40.0%
Positive impact           80.0% 20.0%

NOTES: The negative impact breakouts are based on 30 responses. The positive impact breakouts are based on five responses.

As you plan for your business, how long do you expect the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact to last?

               
Less than 3 months             25.0%
3–6 months             41.1%
6–9 months             16.1%
9–12 months             3.6%
More than 12 months             14.3%

NOTE: 56 responses.

Special Questions Comments

Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods

  • Our company had a strong first quarter. We are experiencing the impact of COVID-19, but it's impossible to know the effect it will have on our business. Congress has been slow to take steps on emergency relief bills to help the American people, which is disappointing.
  • All the employees will be laid off, the operation of $30 million is going away, and unemployment will be impacted. We have people working here 20-plus years and are 60 years old and older.
  • So far, we haven't felt the measurable effects of a downturn in business but are preparing for it just in case.
  • We sell PPE [personal protective equipment], so the demand for our product has increased significantly. However the supply (from China) has been stopped. If the supply chain reopens and there are no domestic restrictions, our outlook for 2020 would be positive.

Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers

  • We believe the impact of job loss and product value will cause a longer-term downturn as it relates to sales but less of an impact on servicing vehicles. This will also create a glut of used cars as well, impacting a market three times larger than the new-car market at retail.
  • We have a planned increase in capital spending. We are preparing to make acquisitions. Though the prices may not be significantly lower, the possibility of acquisitions may not have been available before.

Nonstore Retailers

  • Our board is only looking outward the next several weeks at this moment, but as fluid a situation as this is, we could decide to furlough employees without pay until further notice at anytime. We must move fast or risk not having the capital to recover as we work through this situation.

 

Questions regarding the Texas Business Outlook Surveys can be addressed to Emily Kerr at emily.kerr@dal.frb.org.

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