COVID-19 Impact On Firms’ Operations And Financial Results

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 July 2020 BIE Survey dated July 15, 2020 (involving 224 firms responding):

  • Inflation expectations: Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations have remained the same at 1.7 percent, on average.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels and profit margins “compared to normal” continued to improve over the month, though they remain at historically low levels. Year-over-year unit cost growth decreased slightly to 1.1 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: Firms’ sales gap (percentage below “normal” unit sales levels) improved somewhat to 14.3 percent below normal, on average, compared to the last measure of 31.6 percent below normal taken in April.
  • Special question: Firms provided an estimate of the number of months it will take until business returns to “normal,” and the number of months they can continue to operate without accessing additional sources of funding. They also provided a rating of the extent to which the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted their sales activity and operations.

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.