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%.

Series2019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q22020Q3
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 Indicator0.660.87-0.47-6.87-2.21
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 (%)3136302021
Less (%)3637426467
Balance of Opinion-5-1-12-44-47
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 (%)4943492862
Less (%)2532276324
Balance of Opinion241122-3539
Indicators of Future Sales
Compared with 12 months ago, have your recent indicators (order books, advanced bookings, sales inquiries, etc.)…
Improved (%)3850411430
Deteriorated (%)2217257051
Balance of Opinion163316-56-22
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 (%)4735382536
Lower (%)1924265534
Balance of Opinion281112-302
Credit Conditions
Over the past 3 months, how have the terms and conditions for obtaining financing changed (compared with the previous 3 months)?
Tightened (%)1313134216
Eased (%)1816212329
Balance of Opinion-5-3-819-13
Future Employment Level
Over the next 12 months, your firm’s level of employment is expected to be…
Higher (%)4353424039
Lower (%)1211141813
Balance of Opinion3143282226
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)3843382534
Significant difficulty (% of firms)13108210
Labour Shortages
Does your firm face any shortages of labour that restrict your ability to meet demand?
Yes (% of firms)3431281325
Intensity of Labour Shortages
Compared with 12 months ago, are labour shortages generally…
More intense3439331023
Less intense1214155142
Balance of Opinion222518-41-19
Wage Growth
Over the next 12 months, are increases in labour costs expected to be higher, lower or about the same rate as over the past 12 months?
Higher2821261320
Lower1510164841
Balance of opinion *131110-35-21
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 (%)1633243439
Increase at a lesser rate (%)2320183830
Balance of Opinion-7136-49
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 (%)3022202830
Increase at a lesser rate (%)2526264830
Balance of Opinion5-4-6-200
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)2242512
1 to 2 per cent (% of firms)6459533744
2 to 3 per cent (% of firms)3230382428
Above 3 per cent (% of firms)152111
No repsonse (% of firms)143136

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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