Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Bureau of Business Research
January surveys of Nebraska households and businesses reveal a split assessment of the Nebraska economy. Nebraska businesses are optimistic about the outlook for sales and employment while household consumer confidence is low. In particular, the Consumer Confidence Index – Nebraska (CCI-N), which is being released for the first time this month, declined during January 2016 to 84.7 from a value of 89.0 in December 2015. This level and drop in the index, which is calculated based on a Survey of Nebraska households, indicates that consumer confidence is weak in Nebraska. The drop may reflect a decline in optimism in the month after the Chirstmas Holiday and the sharp drop in stock market valuations during January. In terms of specific concerns, households report concerns about adequate savings, paying off debt, health care costs, and a rising cost of living. By contrast, respondents to the January 2016 Survey of Nebraska Business have a positive outlook for sales and employment. To be specific, 38 percent of responding business people expect sales at their business to increase over the next 6 months while just 19 percent expect sales to decrease. In terms of employment, 18 percent of respondents expect to grow jobs compared to 5 percent who expect to reduce employment. When asked about the most important issue facing their business, customer demand is the top issue named by 42 percent of respondents. The availability and quality of labor is named as the top issue by 18 percent.