A gap re-emerged between business and consumer confidence in Nebraska during September, according to the latest monthly surveys conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Nebraska’s Consumer Confidence Index had a reading of 87.9 in September. This value is well below the neutral level of 100 and indicates there was weak consumer confidence in Nebraska during September. There also was a steep drop in consumer confidence, from readings of 97.4 in August and 97.5 in July. The July and August readings were the highest of the year. The Consumer Confidence Index – Nebraska is estimated based on responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households.
“The summer improvement in consumer confidence has proven to be temporary,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director. “Consumer confidence in September fell back to levels seen in February through May of 2016.”
Business expectations, by contrast, remained a source of strength for the state economy. Businesses were optimistic about both sales and employment during September, with 31 percent of businesses expecting sales to increase over the next six months and just 19 percent expecting sales to decline. Thirteen percent of businesses expect to increase employment compared to 3 percent that expect to reduce it.
“Business survey results indicate that there will be growth in both sales and employment in Nebraska for the rest of 2016 and during the first quarter of 2017,” Thompson said.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During September, 125 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 25 percent. There were 137 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 27 percent.