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September 4, 2020

Business Expectations Remain Positive in Nebraska

Business Expectations Remain Positive in Nebraska
Nebraska businesses expressed primary concerns surrounding COVID-19 and customer demand issues.
Nebraska business confidence was mixed again in August, according to the latest monthly survey from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Business Confidence Index – Nebraska had a value of 89.7 in August, which is well below the neutral level of 100.

The aggregate index value, however, reflects a significant difference between recent conditions and expectations about the next 6 months. The recent conditions sub-index, which reflects the change in sales and employment during recent months, was far below the neutral level at a value of 73.0. The expectations sub-index, by contrast, was above the neutral level, at 106.4.

“Business expectations were positive in August,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as Bureau director. “More businesses reported plans to increase employment than reported plans to decrease it.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and customer demand in general are the primary concerns for Nebraska businesses. Thirty-five percent of business respondents mentioned the COVID-19 Pandemic as their top business concern, due to its impact on customer demand and business operations. Another 27 percent of businesses focused on customer demand without specifically mentioning COVID-19. “Other top concerns included the quality and availability of labor, the cost of goods and services, and challenges with business operations,” according to Thompson.

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. During August, 119 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 24 percent.