Business confidence surged higher in Nebraska during December, according to the latest monthly survey from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Business confidence rose to 119.3 in December, far above the neutral level of 100 and a value of 106.0 in November.
“Nebraska businesses confidence spiked during the holiday season,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as Bureau director.
By contrast, there was little change in consumer confidence. Confidence fell slightly during December to a reading of 102.0 from a level of 103.7 in November. The reading for consumer confidence was only slightly above the neutral value of 100. “During December, Nebraska consumers did not share the strong confidence of Nebraska businesses,” said Thompson.
Health care costs were the most common concerns among Nebraska households. Nebraska households also considered their long-term finances as they looked toward the year ahead. More than one-quarter of Nebraska households listed their level of savings or a need to pay down debt as their top concern during December.
Nebraska businesses remained most concerned about customer demand and the quality and availability of labor. Concerns about customer demand were most common among health care providers, farmers and ranchers, and other businesses located in rural regions.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During December, 100 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 20 percent. There were 130 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 26 percent.