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.

Businesses' Inflation Expectations for the Coming Year Remain Stable - June 2018

  • Inflation expectations: Firms' inflation expectations went roughly unchanged at 2.1 percent over the year ahead.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels remain "about normal," on average. Profit margins were roughly the same, and year-over-year unit costs increased somewhat to 2.0 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: On average, weighted by sector contribution to GDP, firms are approximately 0.8 percent below what they consider to be "normal" unit sales levels. Large firms are 2.6 percent above normal, midsize firms are 5.9 percent above normal, and small firms are lagging somewhat at 5.6 percent below normal.
  • Special question: Firms provided an estimate of the percentage price change over the last twelve months and their expected percentage price change over the next twelve months for their industry. A chart illustrating the difference in these two estimates is provided on the special question page.
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?

Show Diffusion | Show Response Breakdown

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?

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

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