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%.

Series2019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q2
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 (%)3531363020
Less (%)3836374264
Balance of Opinion-3-5-1-12-44
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 (%)4449434928
Less (%)2125322763
Balance of Opinion23241122-35
Indicators of Future Sales
Compared with 12 months ago, have your recent indicators (order books, advanced bookings, sales inquiries, etc.)…
Improved (%)4138504114
Deteriorated (%)1822172570
Balance of Opinion23163316-56
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 (%)3647353825
Lower (%)1619242655
Balance of Opinion20281112-30
Future Employment Level
Over the next 12 months, your firm’s level of employment is expected to be…
Higher (%)4943534240
Lower (%)1312111418
Balance of Opinion3631432822
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)3438433825
Significant difficulty (% of firms)8131082
Labour Shortages
Does your firm face any shortages of labour that restrict your ability to meet demand?
Yes (% of firms)2634312813
Intensity of Labour Shortages
Compared with 12 months ago, are labour shortages generally…
More intense3234393310
Less intense1912141551
Balance of Opinion13222518-41
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 (%)2416332434
Increase at a lesser rate (%)3023201838
Balance of Opinion-6-7136-4
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 (%)3030222028
Increase at a lesser rate (%)2325262648
Balance of Opinion75-4-6-20
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)222425
1 to 2 per cent (% of firms)6464595337
2 to 3 per cent (% of firms)2832303824
Above 3 per cent (% of firms)41521
No repsonse (% of firms)214313
Credit Conditions
Over the past 3 months, how have the terms and conditions for obtaining financing changed (compared with the previous 3 months)?
Tightened (%)913131342
Eased (%)1518162123
Balance of Opinion-6-5-3-819
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 Indicator0.060.610.82-0.51-7.00

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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