Consumer confidence dropped in Nebraska during April while business confidence remained strong, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Responses to the April Survey of Nebraska Households indicate that consumer confidence fell to 95.6 during the month, below the neutral level of 100.0 and well below the March value of 110.0.
Nebraska business confidence stood at 107.8 in April, based on responses to the monthly Survey of Nebraska Business. This is well above the neutral value of 100 and down only slightly from a reading of 108.9 in March.
“The decline in consumer confidence suggests that recent flooding has affected Nebraskans,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as Bureau director. “Yet, Nebraskan’s also face a number of other, ongoing concerns.”
Sixteen percent of responding households indicate that their top financial issue is health care costs while 15 percent chose a general increase in the cost of living, including the cost of groceries, utilities, insurance and education. Twenty-nine percent of businesses chose customer demand as their top business issue. However, competition in the product and labor markets also were top concerns, with 27 percent of businesses choosing labor availability as their top concern and 19 percent choosing competition with other businesses. Six percent of responding businesses and households reported flooding or weather as their top issue.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During April, 135 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 27 percent. There were 122 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 24 percent.