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Percentage of firms reporting 'normal’ sales come down to 46 from 50: IIM-A survey

By Our Representative 

The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad's (IIM-A’s) Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), has found that if there has been moderation in cost pressures, the sales expectations too have moderated, with about 46% of the firms reporting ‘normal’ or greater sales in November 2023, down from 50% reported a month earlier.
At the same time, the survey, which is claimed to be unique in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or households to understand their expectations of the price level changes, said that, overall, the profit margins expectations “have remained unchanged and optimistic”.
Conducted monthly at the Misra Centre for Financial Markets and Economy, IIM-A, the survey based on the responses of around 1,000 companies, said, the percentage of firms perceiving “significant cost increase (over 6%) has remained the same at around 29% during October-November 2023. However, the percentage of firms reporting moderate cost increase (3.1% to 6.0%) has declined.”
It said, “About 19% of the firms are reporting ‘somewhat greater than normal’ sales in November 2023 – down from 23% reported in October 2023”, adding, “About 46% of the firms are reporting ‘normal’ or greater sales in November 2023 – down from 50% reported in October 2023. "Normal" means as compared to the average level obtained in the preceding 3 years, excluding the Covid-19 period.
As for the profits, the survey found, “Around 43% of the firms in November 2023 are reporting profit margins to be ‘about normal’ or greater – marginally down from 44% reported in October 2023”, though adding, “Overall, the profit margins expectations have remained unchanged and optimistic.”
At the same time, the survey said, “One year ahead business inflation expectation, as estimated from the mean of individual probability distribution of unit cost increase, declined significantly to 4.04% in November 2023 from 4.44% reported in October 2023. Average inflation expectation of the firms remained anchored around 4.2% for the past six consecutive months.”



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