September 6, 2019

Consumer Confidence Rebounds In Nebraska

Consumer Confidence Rebounds In Nebraska
Consumer confidence rebounded in Nebraska during August, according to the latest monthly survey from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Consumer business confidence stood at 105.8 in August, based on responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households. This is above the neutral value of 100 and up from 101.2 in July.

“Consumer confidence returned to firmly positive levels in August after flirting with a neutral rating during July,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as Bureau director. “Consumers are now a source of strength for the Nebraska economy.”  

At the same time, there was a drop in business confidence in August. Respondents to the August Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that business confidence fell to 108.4 during the month, from 112.0 in July. The August reading, however, remains well above the neutral value of 100.

“Nebraska households were focused on the cost of living during July,” according to Thompson. Forty-seven percent of responding households indicate that cost factors such as taxes, the cost of health care or a major expense was their top financial issue. Notably, an elevated 8 percent of households indicated that financial market performance was their top issue. This is a much higher percentage than during most months and reflects volatility in stock and bond markets during August. Competition in the product and labor markets were top business concerns. Twenty-six percent of businesses choose labor availability as their top business issue while 19 percent choose competition with other businesses.   

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During August, 162 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 32 percent. There were 131 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 26 percent.