Business Outlook Survey Data

Each quarter, the Business Outlook Survey results are based on interviews with senior management of about 100 firms. You can view the latest quarterly data or download all available data.

Since the responses to the questions are calculated as percentages, when the sample is not exactly 100 firms, or respondents do not answer all questions, the results are rounded. Therefore, in some cases, calculating a balance of opinion using the greater and lesser categories may differ slightly from the actual balance of opinion. Also, totals may not always add to 100%.

Series2019Q12019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q1
Past Sales Growth
Over the past 12 months, the rate of increase in your firm’s sales volume (compared with the previous 12 months) was…
Greater (%)3935313630
Less (%)4538363742
Balance of Opinion-6-3-5-1-12
Future Sales Growth
Over the next 12 months, the rate of increase in your firm’s sales volume (compared with the past 12 months) is expected to be…
Greater (%)4044494349
Less (%)3421253227
Balance of Opinion623241122
Indicators of Future Sales
Compared with 12 months ago, have your recent indicators (order books, advanced bookings, sales inquiries, etc.)…
Improved (%)3941385041
Deteriorated (%)2518221725
Balance of Opinion1423163316
Investment in Machinery and Equipment
Over the next 12 months, your firm’s investment spending on M&E (compared with the past 12 months) is expected to be…
Higher (%)3936473538
Lower (%)1916192426
Balance of Opinion2020281112
Future Employment Level
Over the next 12 months, your firm’s level of employment is expected to be…
Higher (%)4949435342
Lower (%)1413121114
Balance of Opinion3536314328
Ability to Meet Demand
How would you rate the current ability of your firm to meet an unexpected increase in demand?
Some difficulty (% of firms)2134384338
Significant difficulty (% of firms)10813108
Labour Shortages
Does your firm face any shortages of labour that restrict your ability to meet demand?
Yes (% of firms)1926343128
Intensity of Labour Shortages
Compared with 12 months ago, are labour shortages generally…
More intense3432343933
Less intense1819121415
Balance of Opinion1613222518
Input Price Inflation
Over the next 12 months, are prices of products/services purchased expected to increase at a greater, lesser, or the same rate as over the past year?
Increase at a greater rate (%)2224163324
Increase at a lesser rate (%)2030232018
Balance of Opinion2-6-7136
Output Price Inflation
Over the next 12 months, are prices of products/services sold expected to increase at a greater, lesser, or the same rate as over the past year?
Increase at a greater rate (%)2230302220
Increase at a lesser rate (%)2823252626
Balance of Opinion-675-4-6
Inflation Expectations
Over the next two years, what do you expect the annual rate of inflation to be, based on the consumer price index?
Below 1 per cent (% of firms)32224
1 to 2 per cent (% of firms)6464645953
2 to 3 per cent (% of firms)2728323038
Above 3 per cent (% of firms)34152
No repsonse (% of firms)32143
Credit Conditions
Over the past 3 months, how have the terms and conditions for obtaining financing changed (compared with the previous 3 months)?
Tightened (%)139131313
Eased (%)2015181621
Balance of Opinion-7-6-5-3-8
The BOS indicator is re-estimated every quarter with the release of the Business Outlook Survey. As such, even though responses to BOS questions are never revised, the entire time series of the indicator is revised after every release.
BOS Indicator-1.05-0.070.480.75-0.68

Notes

In 1999Q2 and 2000Q2, the survey questions were asked to industry associations instead of businesses (74 associations in 1999Q2 and 66 associations in 2000Q2). See Martin and Papile (2004). In addition, the summer 2006 results for Chart 6 are not strictly comparable with those of other surveys, owing to a difference in the interview process for that survey.

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