Business Outlook Survey Data

Business Outlook Survey results are based on interviews held each quarter with the senior management of about 100 firms. You can view the latest quarterly data and download all available data. You can also find four-quarter moving average data by firm size, region and sector.

Business Outlook Survey indicator

Chart 1: Business Outlook Survey indicator

Last observation:

Series2021Q32021Q42022Q12022Q22022Q3
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 Indicator4.335.884.964.871.69

Business activity

Chart 2: Past sales growth

* Percentage of firms reporting faster growth minus the percentage reporting slower growthLast observation:

Series2021Q32021Q42022Q12022Q22022Q3
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…
Balance of Opinion3063424821
Greater (%)5875646850
Less (%)2912232129

Chart 3: Future sales growth

* Percentage of firms expecting faster growth minus the percentage expecting slower growth
† Percentage of firms reporting that indicators have improved minus the percentage reporting that indicators have deterioratedLast observation:

Series2021Q32021Q42022Q12022Q22022Q3
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…
Balance of Opinion93-11-26-18
Greater (%)4440392928
Less (%)3537505446
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Indicators of Future Sales
Compared with 12 months ago, have your recent indicators (order books, advanced bookings, sales inquiries, etc.)…
Balance of Opinion5457395517
Deteriorated (%)1411171129
Improved (%)6868556646

Chart 4: Investment in machinery and equipment

* Percentage of firms expecting higher investment minus the percentage expecting lower investmentLast observation:

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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…
Balance of Opinion4647423729
Higher (%)5862565350
Lower (%)1315151721

Chart 5: Credit conditions

* Percentage of firms reporting tightened terms and conditions minus the percentage reporting eased. For this question, the balance of opinion excludes firms that responded “not applicable.” Last observation:

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Credit Conditions
Over the past 3 months, how have the terms and conditions for obtaining financing changed (compared with the previous 3 months)?
Balance of Opinion-12261612
Eased (%)23109611
Tightened (%)1112152223

Chart 6: Future employment level

* Percentage of firms expecting higher levels of employment minus the percentage expecting lower levels Last observation:

Series2021Q32021Q42022Q12022Q22022Q3
Future Employment Level
Over the next 12 months, your firm’s level of employment is expected to be…
Balance of Opinion6777636647
Higher (%)7180666954
Lower (%)43337

Pressures on production capacity

Chart 7: Ability to meet demand

  Last observation:

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Ability to Meet Demand
How would you rate the current ability of your firm to meet an unexpected increase in demand?
Significant difficulty (% of firms)2628302128
Some difficulty (% of firms)3950515748

Chart 8: Labour shortages

* Percentage of firms reporting more-intense labour shortages minus the percentage reporting less-intense shortagesLast observation:

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Labour Shortages
Does your firm face any shortages of labour that restrict your ability to meet demand?
Yes (% of firms)3641404246
Series2021Q32021Q42022Q12022Q22022Q3
Intensity of Labour Shortages
Compared with 12 months ago, are labour shortages generally…
Balance of Opinion6474626343
Less intense736515
More intense7177686858

Wages, prices and inflation

Chart 9: Wage growth

* Percentage of firms expecting higher labour cost increases minus the percentage expecting lower labour cost increases Last observation:

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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?
Higher5780747356
Lower8961219
Balance of opinion *5071686137

Chart 10: Input price inflation

* Percentage of firms expecting greater price increases minus the percentage expecting lesser price increases Last observation:

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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?
Balance of Opinion871612-39
Increase at a greater rate (%)4043464620
Increase at a lesser rate (%)3236303459

Chart 11: Output price inflation

* Percentage of firms expecting greater price increases minus the percentage expecting lesser price increasesLast observation:

Series2021Q32021Q42022Q12022Q22022Q3
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?
Balance of Opinion8162622-24
Increase at a greater rate (%)3543515123
Increase at a lesser rate (%)2727252947

Chart 12: Inflation expectations

Last observation:

Series2021Q32021Q42022Q12022Q22022Q3
Inflation Expectations
Over the next two years, what do you expect the annual rate of inflation to be, based on the consumer price index?
Above 3 per cent (% of firms)4567707877
Below 1 per cent (% of firms)00001
No repsonse (% of firms)413107
1 to 2 per cent (% of firms)102112
2 to 3 per cent (% of firms)4230261113

Notes

For more information, see these references on the Business Outlook Survey.

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%.

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 the labour shortages question presented on Chart 8 are not strictly comparable with those of other surveys, owing to a difference in the interview process for that survey.

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