Business expectations and consumer confidence held steady in Nebraska during April, according to the latest monthly surveys conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Strong business expectations reported in the April Survey of Nebraska Business are consistent with results from the March survey. The April Survey of Nebraska Business showed 32 percent of businesses expect sales to grow over the next 6 months versus 15 percent who think sales will decline. Businesses also remain optimistic about job growth.
Nebraska’s Consumer Confidence Index, by contrast, was 92.2 in April, up slightly from a March value of 91.0. This value, while steady, is well below the neutral baseline value of 100. The Consumer Confidence Index – Nebraska is estimated based on responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households.
Eric Thompson, a UNL economist who is director of the bureau, said “a strong economy is key to improving consumer confidence.”
Thompson added that strong business expectations suggest that the economy will strengthen later in the year. “Strong businesses expectations reported in the March and April surveys portend rapid economic growth in Nebraska during the second half of 2016,” Thompson said.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. In April, 103 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 21 percent. There were 68 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 14 percent.