Business Inflation Expectations

The BIE was created to measure the year-ahead inflationary sentiments of businesses in the Sixth District. It also helps inform our view of the sources of cost changes and provides insight into the factors driving business' pricing decisions.

Businesses' Inflation Expectations Hold Firm for the Coming Year - July 2018

  • Inflation expectations: Firms' inflation expectations went unchanged at 2.1 percent over the year ahead.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels remain "about normal," on average. Profit margins improved somewhat, and year-over-year unit costs decreased somewhat to 1.9 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: On average, weighted by sector contribution to GDP, firms long-term inflation expectations (per year, over the next five to 10 years) were roughly unchanged at 2.8 percent, compared to the last measure of 2.9 percent in April.
  • Special question: Firms provided an explanation of the current state of productivity within their firm. Approximately 40 percent of firms indicated they were currently experiencing "great productivity gains in the operational side" of their business, but these gains were being offset by productivity drains including compliance costs and cybersecurity costs. Another 31 percent indicated they expect to see "great productivity gains" in the future from technological adoption, but currently it is more of an expense.
Click on a marker to view that month's results summary (starting January 2012).

Source: Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations (BIE) Survey


Standard Questions

The questions below are asked each month to assess the firm’s current business environment and inflation expectations.

Question 1. How do your current sales levels compare with sales levels during what you consider to be "normal" times?

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Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Question 2. How do your current profit margins compare with "normal" times?

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Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Question 3. Looking back, how do your unit costs compare with this time last year?

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Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Question 4. Projecting ahead, to the best of your ability, please assign a percent likelihood to the following changes to unit costs over the next 12 months.

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Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


Rotating Questions

Each question is asked once per quarter in the order indicated below.

Quarterly Question: Projecting ahead, to the best of your ability, please assign a percent likelihood to the following changes to unit costs per year over the next FIVE TO 10 years.

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Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Quarterly Question: Projecting ahead over the next 12 months, how do you think the following five common influences will affect the prices of your products and/or services?

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Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Show Diffusion | Show Response Breakdown

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Show Diffusion | Show Response Breakdown

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Show Diffusion | Show Response Breakdown

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Show Diffusion | Show Response Breakdown

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Quarterly Question: By roughly what percent are your firm's unit sales levels above/below "normal," if at all?

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


Special Questions

Typically a unique question is asked each month exploring a current topic of interest to policymakers.

Special Question