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Profit, sales, costs: signs of improvement, says IIM-A survey of Indian business

By Our Representative 

The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad's (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data clearly indicates easing of cost pressures. "Around 53% of the participating firms in the survey perceive significant (over 6%) cost increase, down significantly from 65% reported in the earlier round of the survey", it notes.
Suggesting signs of improvement in business expectations, the survey states, "The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has further declined. Over 24% of the firms in July 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down sharply from 36% recorded in April 2022."
Based on responses of around 1,100 companies, the survey says, "Firms’ sales expectations show signs of improved optimism. Percentage of firms reporting ‘somewhat less than normal’ sales has declined further to 26% in July 2022 from 28% reported in June 2022", adding, "Around 15% of the firms in July 2022 report that sales are ‘somewhat greater than normal’, up from 11% reported in June 2022."
Conducted by the Misra Centre for Financial Markets and Economy at the IIM-A, it continues, "Profit expectations show signs of improved optimism, adding, "About 1/4th of the participating firms in the survey perceive profit margins to be about normal – sharply up 16% reported in the earlier round of the survey."
BIES claims to provide ways to examine the amount of slack in the economy by polling a panel of business leaders about their inflation expectations in the short and medium term. A monthly survey, it asks questions about year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit, sales levels, etc.
Claiming to be unique as it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or households, to understand their expectations of the price level changes, the survey says, "One major advantage of BIES is that one can get a probabilistic assessment of inflation expectations and thus get a measure of uncertainty."
The survey asserts, one year ahead business inflation expectations in July 2022 have "further declined by 34 bps to 4.83% from 5.17% reported in June 2022. Business inflation expectations have dropped below 5% after 17 months." However, the uncertainty of business inflation expectations in July 2022 "has remained around 2%, same as reported during February-June 2022."

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