Firms’ Responses On How Sales Are Impacted By Coronavirus

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta publishes a monthly report titled “Business Inflation Expectations” (BIE) that contains statistics from a survey of regional businesses’ views on various factors that impact profitability.  These factors include unit costs, unit cost expectations, sales levels, profit margins, and other factors.

As described on the site:

Approximately 300 panelists receive the survey each month. Panelists represent businesses of various sizes headquartered within the Sixth District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and sections of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Panelists range from executives of large corporations to owner-operators of small businesses. The industry composition of the panel roughly reflects the makeup of the national economy. Nevertheless, survey responses are weighted by industry shares of national gross domestic product.

An excerpt from the April 2020 BIE Survey dated April 15, 2020 (involving 242 firms responding):

  • Inflation expectations: Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations declined to 1.4 percent, on average.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels “compared to normal” declined dramatically over the month. Profit margins experienced a similar decline. Year-over-year unit cost growth fell to 1.2 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: Firms’ sales gap (percentage below “normal” sales levels) widened substantially to 31.6 percent below normal from 2.5 percent below normal in January, the last measure.
  • Special question: Firms indicated the extent to which the recent spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) had affected their sales activity and operations. In addition, they provided an estimate of when they expect to return to normal operations and how long they can continue to operate without accessing additional sources of funding. They also indicated how they anticipate the price of the product/product line or service responsible for the largest share of their revenue is likely to change over the next six months. A breakdown of the results can be found in the special question section below.

The report also includes other questions and a variety of charts and tables depicting respondents’ answers.


RevSD, LLC offers the above commentary for informational purposes only, and does not necessarily agree with all (or any) of the views expressed by these outside parties.

—– is published by RevSD, LLC.  RevSD, LLC is a management consulting firm and strategic advisory that focuses on the analysis of current and future business conditions, and given these conditions, offers corporations and businesses advice, strategies, and actionable methods on how to optimally increase revenues and profitability.