Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Bureau of Business Research
Business expectations remained strong and consumer confidence stayed weak during April. These findings, based on monthly surveys of both Nebraska households and businesses, show a split assessment of the state economy. In particular, the Consumer Confidence Index – Nebraska (CCI-N) stood at 92.2 in April, little changed from its value of 91.0 in March. However, consumer confidence is well below the value of 100 which would signify neutral confidence. Households report a variety of financial concerns with three in five indicating 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 April 2016 Survey of Nebraska Business have a positive outlook, with strong expectations for sales and job growth at their businesses over the next six months. The outlook for sales is strong but down from the March survey. To be specific, 32 percent of businesses expect sales at their business to rise over the next 6 months, while just 15 percent expect sales to decline. In terms of employment, 18 percent of responding businesspeople expect to increase employment while just 3 percent expect to reduce it. This employment outlook is up slightly from the March 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.