Consumer and business confidence strengthened further in Nebraska during April, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The monthly Survey of Nebraska Households showed that Nebraska’s consumer confidence index rose to 102.5 in April from a value of 100.5 in March. April is only the second month that the index has stood above the neutral value of 100 since the Bureau of Business Research began conducting the survey in late 2015. Nearly half of the respondents cited cost concerns – such as cost of living, health care costs, taxes and other major expenses – as the top financial issue they face.
“The April results confirm that consumer confidence is now strong in Nebraska,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director. He added that consumer expectations for the next six months are especially positive.
The monthly Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that Nebraska’s business confidence index rose to 109.1 in April from a value of 108.2 in March 2017.
“Nebraska business confidence has been very strong throughout 2017,” Thompson said. Participating businesses indicated that customer demand was their top concern. Businesses also were frequently concerned about competition, in particular from on-line sources.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During April, 158 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 32 percent. There were 140 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 28 percent.