Firms’ Cost Forecasts And Labor Situation

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 April 2024 BIE Survey dated April 17, 2024 (involving 297 firms responding):

  • Inflation expectations: Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations remained relatively unchanged at 2.3 percent, on average.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels and profit margins “compared to normal” remained relatively unchanged. Year-over-year unit cost growth significantly decreased to 2.6 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: Firms’ sales levels (compared to “normal” unit sales levels) increased to approximately 4.9 percent below normal.
  • Special question: Firms were asked about their 12-month realized rate of wage change and their 12-months-ahead expected rate of wage change for both low-skilled jobs and high-skilled jobs. They were also asked about the share of employees using A.I. tools, and the impact of those tools on their productivity. A breakdown of the results can be found in the special questions section.

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.