Results of the July NABE Business Conditions Survey showed that two-thirds of respondents report that sales at their firms increased in the second quarter of 2021, while only 3 percent indicate sales declined.
"In addition, most anticipate a strong trajectory for inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, or real GDP, through the spring of 2022," said NABE President Manuel Balmaseda, who is also chief economist at CEMEX.
Two-thirds of respondents anticipate real GDP to expand between 3 and 5.9 percent over the next four quarters, according to the survey, which presents the responses of 93 NABE members to the survey conducted on July 6-15.
When asked when the labor shortages (if applicable) would abate at their firms, only 6 percent of panelists expect that to occur by the end of 2021, the survey showed.
Meanwhile, 18 percent of panelists indicate this will happen sometime in 2022, and 10 percent specify in 2023 or later. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of panelists responded, "Don't know/NA," indicating the uncertainty in this current environment, according to the survey.
Aside from labor shortages, respondents are facing a surge in wages and salaries. There was a strong increase in the share of respondents indicating that wages rose at their firms, from 31 percent in the April survey to 51 percent in the current survey.
The net rising index (NRI) for wages and salaries soared during the second quarter, resulting in a reading of 51 in the July survey, up from 29 in the April survey, and the highest reading since the index of 52 recorded in the January 2020 survey.
The NRI for prices charged during the second quarter declined three points to 28 overall from the first quarter. The NRI for goods-producing sector firms, however, increased to 75 in second quarter from a reading of 71 in the first quarter.
The share of respondents expecting price increases in the next three months rose to 42 percent in the July survey, up from 32 percent in the April survey.