Firms’ Inflation Expectations And Price Change Statistics

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 March 2019 BIE Survey dated March 13, 2019 (involving 225 firms responding):

  • Inflation expectations: Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations went unchanged at 1.9 percent, on average.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels and profit margins compared to “normal times” improved over the month. Year-over-year unit cost growth increased slightly to 2.0 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: Long-term inflation expectations (per year, over the next five to ten years) were 2.8 percent, on average, down slightly from the last measure of 2.9 percent in December 2018.
  • Special question: Firms were asked to select from a list of statements describing various strategies or motivations for price change. These statements correspond to common “sticky-price” theories or theories of why prices are slow to change. A breakdown of the percentage of total selections can be viewed in the special question section below. Firms also provided their frequency of price change.

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.