Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Bureau of Business Research
Business expecations improved in Nebraska during March while consumer confidence was little changed. 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 91.0 in March, little changed from its value of 91.6 in February. However, consumer confidence was well below the value of 100 which would signify neutral confidence. Households report a variety of financial concerns with one-half 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 March 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 much stronger than in the February survey. To be specific, 45 percent of businesses expect sales at their business to rise over the next 6 months, while just 12 percent expect sales to decline. In terms of employment, 15 percent of responding businesspeople expect to increase employment while just 3 percent expect to reduce it. When asked about the most important issue facing their business, customer demand is mentioned most frequently, followed by the availability and quality of labor.