Firms’ Year-Ahead Inflation And Business Expectations

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 July 2023 BIE Survey dated July 12, 2023 (involving 199 firms responding):

  • Inflation expectations: Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations remain relatively unchanged at 2.8 percent, on average.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels “compared to normal” increased. However, profit margins “compared to normal” remained relatively unchanged. Year-over-year unit cost growth remained relatively unchanged at 3.2 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: Firms’ sales gaps (percentage below “normal” unit sales levels) decreased to 4.8 percent below normal. Small, medium, and large firms experienced a significant decrease in unit sales gaps.
  • Special question: Firms were asked about their ability to pass through cost increases during the last 12 months. They were also asked about their level of demand for goods or services. A breakdown of the results can be found in the special questions 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.