Nebraska business confidence was mixed again in September, 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 91.5 in September, 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 78.2. The expectations sub-index, by contrast, was above the neutral level, at 104.8.
“Business planned a modest increase in employment over the next six months,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as Bureau director. “Businesses, however, were neutral regarding sales. The same number of businesses expected sales to decrease as expected sales to increase.”
The COVID-19 Pandemic, customer demand, and labor availability are the primary concerns for Nebraska businesses. Thirty-two percent of business respondents mentioned the COVID-19 Pandemic as their top business concern. Another 24 percent of businesses focused on customer demand without specifically mentioning COVID-19, and 24 percent of businesses listed the quality and availability of labor as their top concern.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. During September, 94 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 19 percent.