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.

Note: We discontinued the press release of results of our monthly Business Inflation Expectations (BIE) survey in June 2017. We will continue to post the BIE data according to our monthly schedule.

Business Inflation Expectations Dip Slightly to 2 Percent - May 2018

  • Inflation expectations: Firms' inflation expectations decreased to 2.0 percent over the year ahead.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels went unchanged, remaining "above normal," on average. Profit margins improved slightly, and year-over-year unit costs decreased to 1.9 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: The majority of firms expect labor costs and non-labor costs to have a moderate to strong upward influence on prices over the year ahead. The expected influence of sales levels on prices over the year-ahead has increased steadily since the May 2017 measure. The majority of firms expect productivity and margins adjustments to have little or no influence on prices over the year ahead.
  • Special question: Firms provided their level of optimism regarding their own firm's financial prospects as well as the U.S. economy overall on a scale from 0-100 with 100 being the most optimistic. A breakdown of the results can be found in the special question section below.
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?

Show Diffusion | Show Response Breakdown

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?

Show Time Series | Show Response Breakdown

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.

Show Time Series | Show Response Breakdown

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.

Show Time Series | Show Response Breakdown

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