Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Bureau of Business Research
Continuing a pattern seen over the last three months, business expectations remained positive and consumer confidence stayed weak in Nebraska during May. These mixed findings are based on monthly surveys of both Nebraska households and businesses. The Consumer Confidence Index – Nebraska (CCI-N) fell back to 89.3 in May, after a reading of 92.2 in April. In both months, consumer confidence is well below the value of 100 which would signify neutral confidence. Households report a variety of financial concerns with 52 percent reporting that their primary financial concerns relate to the cost of living including health care costs, taxes, major expenses (furniture, appliances, automobiles or college tuition) and the general cost of living. By contrast, respondents to the May 2016 Survey of Nebraska Business have a positive outlook for both sales and job growth at their businesses over the next six months. To be specific, 34 percent of businesses expect sales at their business to rise over the next 6 months, while just 14 percent expect sales to decline. In terms of employment, 13 percent of responding businesspeople expect to increase employment while just 6 percent expect to reduce it. This employment outlook, while positive, is down slightly from the April survey. When asked about the most important issue facing their business, customer demand is mentioned most frequently, followed by the availability and quality of labor.