What Manufacturing Executives Said About Their Business in this Economy

‘Builders are wanting extensions on their accounts. Builders are asking for better margins. Buyers are down by 50% to 60%. Employees are scared and do not want to work. Everything we do is taking twice as long.’

By Wolf Richter | 27 April 2020

WOLF STREET — The down-to-earth comments from executives of manufacturing companies in Texas show how the economy has diverged: Many segments are in a fall-of-the-cliff downturn while a few other segments have seen a sudden boost they suspect may not last. This divergence is one of the takeaways – beyond the fall-off-the-cliff movement of the indices – from the Dallas Fed’s Manufacturing Outlook Survey released this morning.

The surveys were collected between April 14 to 22 from executives of 115 unnamed Texas-based manufacturers of all sizes. They track how executives are viewing various aspects at their own businesses.

Of the executives, 64.5% said that their companies experienced a decline in production in the current month – by far the most ever. Only 9.2% said that their companies had experienced an increase (but they did experience an increase; more on that in a moment). This caused the production index, a key measure, to plunge from -35.3 in March to -55.3 in April, a historic low, blowing by the Financial Crisis low of February 2009: […]

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