Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Bureau of Business Research
Nebraska surveys of households and businesses again reveal a split assessment of the state economy. While consumer confidence is poor, Nebraska businesses have a somewhat positive outlook for economy. In particular, the Consumer Confidence Index – Nebraska (CCI-N) stood at 91.6 in February, well the below value of 100 which would signify neutral confidence. On a positive note, the CCI-N rose by 6.9 points in February after a dip to 84.7 during January 2016. The improvement likely reflects stabilization of the stock market in February. In terms of specific concerns, half of responding households reported concerns about costs including health care costs, taxes, major expenses (furniture, appliances, automobiles or college tuition) and the general cost of living. One quarter of respondents cited concerns with paying off debt or adequate savings. By contrast, respondents to the February 2016 Survey of Nebraska Business have a modestly positive outlook, with strong expectations for job growth but a somewhat negative outlook for sales. To be specific, 14 percent of responding businesspeople expect to increase employment at their businesses over the next 6 months while just 3 percent expect to decrease employment. For sales, 20 percent expect sales to increase over the next 6 months versus 24 percent who expect a decline. When asked about the most important issue facing their business, customer demand is the top issue named by 39 percent of respondents. Taxes and the availability and quality of labor is named as the top issue by 16 percent.