Business Outlook Survey - data by firm size (four-quarter moving averages)

Quarterly results from the Business Outlook Survey (BOS) are based on interviews with about 33 small firms, 33 medium-sized firms and 34 large firms. This page presents BOS data for each of these groups. For more information, please see the backgrounder.

Firm sizes are defined as follows: small firms have 10 to 99 employees, medium-sized firms have 100 to 499 employees, and large firms have 500 or more employees. Because the responses are presented here as four-quarter moving averages, these charts may not show the same movements as the aggregate BOS data published each quarter.

Business activity

Chart 1: Past sales growth

* Percentage of firms reporting faster growth minus the percentage reporting slower growth


Chart 2: 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 deteriorated


Chart 3: Investment in machinery and equipment

* Percentage of firms expecting higher investment minus the percentage expecting lower investment


Chart 4: Credit conditions

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


Chart 5: Future employment level

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


Pressures on production capacity

Chart 6: Ability to meet demand

* Share of firms reporting some or significant difficulty


Chart 7: Labour shortages

* Share of firms reporting labour shortages
† Percentage of firms reporting more intense labour shortages minus the percentage reporting less intense labour shortages


Wages, prices and inflation

Chart 8: Wage growth

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


Chart 9: Input price inflation

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


Chart 10: Output price inflation

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


Chart 11a: Inflation expectations for small firms


Chart 11b: Inflation expectations for medium-sized firms


Chart 11c: Inflation expectations for large firms