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.

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Business Inflation Expectations Increased to 3.3 Percent - November 2021

  • Inflation expectations: Firms' year-ahead inflation expectations increased significantly to 3.3 percent, on average.
  • Current economic environment: Sales levels "compared to normal" remain unchanged. However, profit margins increased slightly. Year-over-year unit cost growth is relatively unchanged at 3.6 percent, on average.
  • Quarterly question: Approximately 40 percent of firms expect both labor costs and nonlabor costs to put significant upward influence on prices. About 30 percent of firms expect sales levels and margin adjustments to put moderate upward influence on prices over the next 12 months.
  • Special question: Firms were asked how they intend on improving their profit margins or, if they were higher than "normal," how they intend on maintaining them. They were then asked how the price of their primary good or service changed over the last 12 months. Lastly, they were asked how they expect the price of their primary good or service to change over the next 12 months. 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?

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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.

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

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: 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


Special Questions

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

Special Question