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Business as usual? 59% Indian firms perceive 'significant' cost increases: IIM-A survey

Profit margins
 By Our Representative 
The Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, which seeks to examine the amount of slack in the economy by polling a panel of business leaders from around 1,200 companies, has said the cost perceptions data indicates a "mixed picture" for the month of October.
"There is a decline in number of firms perceiving very high cost increase (over 10%). Still around 1/3rd of the firms are reporting more than 10% cost increase. Further, the number of firms perceiving significant cost increase (over 6%) has remained around 59% during last two rounds of the survey", the survey said.
Costs per cent unit
As for sales levels, sales expectations have shown "a marked recovery." Around 29% of the firms now report that sales are ‘much less than normal’, as compared to 33% reported in September 2021, it said, adding, "There is a sharp increase in number of firms perceiving greater than normal sales. Qualitatively, sales expectations are back to May 2019 level."
Coming to profit margins, the survey said, "Around 45% of the firms in the sample in October 2021 report ‘much less than normal’ profit – down from 48% reported in September 2021." It added, "About 19% of the firms now report ‘about normal’ profit expectations – up from 15% reported in September 2021."
Sales levels
It further said, "One year ahead business inflation expectations in October 2021, as estimated from the mean of individual probability distribution of unit cost increase, have declined by 28 basis points to 5.47% from 5.75% reported in September 2021."
"The uncertainty of business inflation expectations in October 2021, as captured by the square root of the average variance of the individual probability distribution of unit cost increase, has remained elevated at 2.2%", it added.

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