Nebraska businesses are very optimistic in their outlook for sales and employment over the next six months, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Bureau of Business Research.
Nearly one in four respondents to the April Survey of Nebraska Business expected to add employees in the next six months. Only 4 percent said they expected to reduce employment.
More than one in three businesses expected sales to increase, compared to 13 percent who predicted a decline in sales.
It is the strongest outlook for sales and employment since the bureau began conducting the survey in September 2011.
“This optimism suggests strong growth in the Nebraska economy during the second half of 2015,” said UNL economist Eric Thompson, the bureau’s director.
Customer demand was the most common business concern, cited by 34 percent of respondents. The quality and availability of labor was cited second most often, chosen by 21 percent of respondents. Labor availability has been a continuing concern for Nebraska businesses, Thompson noted.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. In April, 167 businesses responded, for a response rate of 33 percent. Thompson combined March and April 2015 responses to analyze economic trends by region.
“Businesses were optimistic in every region of Nebraska,” Thompson said, with positive expectations for both sales and employment. Omaha-area businesses were the most optimistic.