Businesses are looking to raise their prices as managers try to put a lid on discounting by passing on increases caused by the falling Australian dollar.
Despite a soft outlook for the September quarter, Dun & Bradstreet's National Business Expectations Survey found more businesses plan to raise their prices compared to the previous quarter.
"The early effects on prices from the recent fall in the Australia dollar appear to be showing up with the rise in expected selling prices, although it must be emphasised that this increase is from a record low level," Dun & Bradstreet economic adviser Stephen Koukoulas said.
He said that any significant lift in inflation remained unlikely.
The survey's selling price index lifted to 7.6 points, from its lowest level in 24 years at 2.5 in the second quarter of 2013.
The survey comes as the Australian dollar continues to slide, dropping to a 19-month low last week but improving the outlook for manufacturers and exporters.
While businesses forecast an increase in prices, they also raised their profit outlook for the upcoming September quarter.
The outlook on profits for the third quarter of the year has risen two points from the previous quarter to 16.2, which is well above the 10-year average.
However, the sales expectations index for the September quarter slipped below its 10-year average of 11 points, easing from 13.5 to 9.2, suggesting that businesses believe higher prices will affect sales.
Mr Koukoulas said the overall tone of the survey left open the possibility of further interest rate cuts amid softer global and domestic economic conditions.
Expectations for capital investment, employment and sales have fallen, despite the recovering outlook for prices and profits.
Dun & Bradstreet's research shows that 46 per cent of businesses identified operational costs as their biggest barrier to growth.
Almost 60 per cent of businesses expect the level of the Australian dollar will have no effect on their operations in the third quarter.
Businesses from the finance, real estate, insurance, transportation, communications and utilities sectors were the most optimistic about the quarter ahead.