Firms’ Business Conditions And Expectations Concerning Inflation

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, pricing, 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 January 2021 BIE Survey dated January 13, 2021 (involving 209 firms responding):

  • Inflation expectations: Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations have increased significantly to 2.2 percent from 2.0 percent, on average.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels and profit margins “compared to normal” decreased over the month; however, they remain near average levels. Year-over-year unit cost growth remains relatively unchanged at 1.8 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: Firms’ sales gap (percentage below “normal” unit sales levels) decreased slightly to 6 percent as firms, on average, are now closer to “normal” sales levels.
  • Special question: Firms were asked if the COVID-19 pandemic or its aftermath led to any changes in their pricing strategy.

The responses to the last question will be compiled and released at a later time.

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.