The Fed conducted the latest survey of 196 firms Oct. 15-19.
The average, annual inflation rate anticipated by the group is 1.8 percent, up from the 1.7 percent forecast in September. Over the next five to 10 years, the executives are looking to see a 2.9 percent yearly rate.
However, they were a little off in their prediction last year. Then, they braced for a 1.9 percent rise in unit costs, but the actual increase turned out to be just 1.4 percent, according to what they told the Fed this month.
Lower-than-expected unit costs was the only good news in this month's poll. Executives said improvements in sales and profit margins they had reported in September have since deteriorated.