/The Fed: ‘I am scared of losing my income, my shop and my home’ — Texas executives worry about coronavirus

The Fed: ‘I am scared of losing my income, my shop and my home’ — Texas executives worry about coronavirus

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Business leaders in the state are worried about the long-term damage to the economy from the coronavirus.

Anxiety and uncertainty are spreading rapidly among business leaders as the coronavirus lashes the broader economy.

Some 92% of executives in the oil patch say the U.S. effort to stop the COVID-19 illness has made them more uncertain about the future, with some worrying that a recession or even depression is coming, according to a survey by the Dallas Federal Reserve.

Three-quarters of executives say the crisis will injure their businesses in 2020 and a quarter say it will permanently harm the number of employees they have on payroll.

Read: Record surge in the number of Americans getting laid off is just getting under way

Here’s what some of the executives told the Dallas Fed:

• “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 the dampening of the economy.” — Executive at a chemical manufacturer

• “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.” — Executive at a mineral-products manufacturer

• “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 businesses.” — Executive at a financial-services company

Read: Why Friday’s jobs report won’t tell the full story of an economy being driven into recession

• “If the self-imposed shutdown continues at this rate, it is my opinion the country will be entering a depression by fall … To be absolutely honest, I am scared of losing my income, my shop and my home.” — Owner of a machinery manufacturing business

• “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.” — Executive at an electronics manufacturer

• “While we may start recovery in three to six months, the impact and speed of the recovery will go on for nine to 12 months and probably extend for the next two years. Remember, it’s not just the U.S., but the whole world.” — Executive at an electronics manufacturer

• “Business closures are causing supply-chain disruptions/stoppages and must end quickly — within two weeks — or the impact will last a decade in my opinion. This is based on my experience with the aftermath of the Great Recession.” — Executive at an miscellaneous manufacturer

The Dallas Fed survey was conducted from March 17 to March 25 and 400 business executives responded. The region covers Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico.

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