The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s Business Inflation Expectations (BIE) rose 0.1% to 2.2% in September, largely unchanged from August. The index has remained largely unchanged for the last 4 months, despite media panic over tariffs.
The BIE measures the year-ahead inflationary expectations of businesses in the Sixth District. It’s also meant to inform about cost changes and insight into the factors driving business’ pricing decisions.
For the quarter, the perceived gap between current sales levels and what they consider “normal” came in at –2.4%, on average. Large firms reported being 3.4% above normal sales levels and midsize firms a sales gap of approximately –0.4%.
Small firms reported the largest negative sales gap at –6.9% below normal, on average.
For the special question, firms gave their expectations regarding the expected year-ahead percentage change in their employees’ wages. The median expectation was for a 3 % increase in wages over the next 12 months, slightly higher than 2.9% in the latest jobs report.
That was the fastest gain for wages since the Great Recession.