• Thomas Parker

Dallas Fed manufacturing survey falls to record low

The Dallas Federal Reserve's business activity survey showed a sharp decline in manufacturing activity in March, falling to the lowest level since the creation of the index in 2004.

The production index, a measure of state manufacturing conditions, dropped from 16.4 to -35.3, indicating a significant contraction in output since February. New orders dropped to -41.3, its lowest level since March 2009.


Perceptions of business conditions also declined precipitously, with the general business activity index plunging from 1.2 to -70.0, and the company outlook index fell from 3.6 to -65.6. Both figures are the lowest in the history of the index.


The index measuring uncertainty in companies' outlooks skyrocketed from 11.0 to 62.6, indicating that business leaders are worried about the immediate future.


Survey respondents were also asked about the effects of the novel coronavirus on the demand for their products and services. Two thirds of respondents said that the virus has had a negative impact on demand for their products, and 75% expect it to have a negative impact or continuing negative effect on their products going forward this year.

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