The Survey of Firms’ Inflation Expectations (SoFIE) is a nationally representative, quarterly survey of chief executive officers (CEOs) and other top executives started by Olivier Coibion and Yuriy Gorodnichenko in the second quarter of 2018. Survey data are collected during the first month of each quarter (January, April, July, and October). The dataset contains a limited number of characteristics about each respondent’s firm, including sector, industry, and size. The surveyed firms represent various industries within either the manufacturing sector or the services sector. Within the manufacturing sector, companies are classified into food and drink, textiles and clothing, electrical, chemicals and plastics, transport, timber and paper, basic metals, mechanical engineering, and other manufacturing. Within the services sector, the companies are classified into hotels and restaurants, transport and storage, post and telecommunication, financial intermediation, renting and business activities, and other services. Additionally, firms are classified as small, with 1 to 19 employees; medium, 20 to 249 employees; or large, 250 or more employees. Firms are repeatedly sampled in the survey, providing a panel dimension at the individual-firm level.
SoFIE is a set of five questions asked as part of a longer privately-run survey that is administered by an external company. In each quarter, respondents are asked the following question:
Question 1: “What do you think will be the inflation rate (for the Consumer Price Index) over the next 12 months? Please provide an answer in an annual percentage rate.”
There is also a second question that rotates among a set of four questions. The rotation is as follows:
Question 2A, asked each April (second quarter) survey wave: “What annual inflation rate do you think the U.S. Federal Reserve is trying to achieve on average?”
Question 2B, asked each July (third quarter) survey wave: “What do you think has been the annual inflation rate (for the Consumer Price Index) over the last twelve months? Please provide an answer in annual percentage rate.”
Question 2C, asked each October (fourth quarter) survey wave: “What do you think will be the average inflation rate (for the Consumer Price Index) over the next 5 years? Please provide an average annual percentage rate.”
Question 2D, asked each January (first quarter) survey wave: “What do you think is the probability that the annual inflation rate (for the Consumer Price Index) over the next 12 months will exceed 5%?”
Each quarter, we report the mean and standard deviation for Question 1 and the second question asked.