After reaching record levels in November, consumer and business confidence fell in Nebraska during December, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Nebraska’s consumer confidence index, which is based on the monthly Survey of Nebraska Households, fell from 106.2 in November back to.93.3 in December. The December value is well below the neutral level of 100.0, indicating that consumer confidence is weak. Half of respondents reported a rising cost of living as the top financial issue they face, while another one quarter cited low wages or concerns about their job or business.
“The November surge in consumer confidence proved to be short-lived” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director. “Ongoing concerns about employment and earnings power resurfaced in December.”
There was a similar decline in Nebraska’s business confidence index, according to responses to the December Survey of Nebraska Business. Business confidence, however, remained above the neutral level of 100.0. The Business Confidence Index-Nebraska fell from 114.1 in November to 107.5 in December.
“Business confidence remained positive in December, although businesses expressed concerns about customer demand, labor availability, and increased competition,” Thompson said.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During December, 111 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 22 percent. There were 113 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 23 percent.