Sales growth remained relatively unchanged in Q4 2022 according to the most recent NABE Business Conditions Survey. Profit margins continue to be under pressure, and just over half of respondents believe the possibility of a recession over the next year is at 50% or higher.
The Net Rising Index (NRI) for sales in Q4 2022 came in at 8 and was unchanged from the October 2022 survey. This marks the lowest NRI for sales growth since the first half of 2020. Additionally, the forward-looking NRI fell to 5 from 20 in October. This indicates weaker sales expectations during the next quarter. Profit margins continue to be under pressure and came in at -25 NRI, down from -10 in October.
The majority (63%) of respondents reported rising wages over the last three months, the same percentage as in October. The share of respondents who reported falling wages dropped to zero.
According to NABE President Julia Coronado, founder and president of MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC, more respondents expect falling rather than increased employment at their firms over the next three months. This is the first time this has happened since 2020.