Inflation Expectations Of Firms And Impact Of Tariffs

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.

Two excerpts from the August 2019 BIE Survey dated August 14, 2019 (involving 243 firms responding):

  • Inflation expectations: Firms’ year-ahead inflation expectations were virtually unchanged at 2.0 percent, on average.


  • Quarterly question: The majority of firms expect sales levels, productivity, and margin adjustments to have little or no impact on their prices over the next 12 months. Labor and nonlabor costs are expected to have moderate upward influence on prices over the next 12 months.
  • Special question: Firms provided the percentage of tariff-related cost increases they are passing on to their customers through price increases as well as their expectations regarding further tariff-related price increases over the next three months. See the special question section for a breakdown of the results.

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.