A Trump presidency holds a terrifying risk for restaurants and retailers

Donald trump debate
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. The first of four debates for the 2016 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt. Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Donald Trump presidency poses a major risk to restaurants and retailers, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.

The biggest risk to the industry would be the loss of millions of consumers as a result of Trump’s proposed immigration reforms, the analysts wrote in a note published Thursday.

As part of his immigration plan, the Republican presidential candidate has said he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

Deporting those immigrants — estimated to include 5 million to 10 million people — would eradicate a vital group of low-end consumers and workers from the country.

“We see Trump’s immigration policy as the biggest risk, largely because of the significant impact that deportation could have on consumer demand and labour,” the analysts wrote.

Some of Trump’s proposed policies, including income income tax reductions, could have a positive effect on the economy by putting more money in the pockets of some consumers. His proposed corporate tax reductions could also benefit restaurants and retailers.

But the analysts said it’s unclear whether Trump will be able to implement those policies. Even if he succeeds with implementation, the risks associated with his immigration reforms would cancel out any potential advantages, they wrote.

A Trump presidency, analysts concluded, will result in “likely economic uncertainty.”

Deporting immigrants would cause a slump for many retailers. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

“The policies proposed by Trump would theoretically support an increase in high-income consumer spending, but elevated economic policy uncertainty, as well as a possible deportation-linked decline in consumer demand and labour under a Trump presidency would counteract the consumer spending benefit from lower taxes,” Morgan Stanley US Consumer Economist Paula Campbell Roberts wrote.

Morgan Stanley identified Jack-in-the-Box, El Pollo Loco, and Wingstop as among the restaurants that would be hurt the most by a Trump presidency.

That’s likely why the fast-food industry hasn’t given much money to the Trump campaign

So far this year, the food and beverage industry has donated just $152,000 to Trump’s campaign, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Meanwhile, the industry has donated more than $1 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president.

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