Nebraska businesses remain optimistic in their outlook for both sales and employment over the next six months, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
One in three businesses responding to the July Survey of Nebraska Business expected sales to increase over the next six months, compared to just 13 percent who predicted a decline in sales.
Fourteen percent of respondents expected to add employees in the next six months, compared to 4 percent who expected to reduce employment.
“Nebraska business continue to be optimistic about both sales and employment,” said UNL economist Eric Thompson, the bureau’s director. “This consistent optimism suggests that economic growth should be strong in the Nebraska throughout the second half of 2015 and at the beginning of 2016.”
Customer demand was the most common business concern, cited by 33 percent of respondents. The quality and availability of labor was cited second most often, chosen by 17 percent of respondents. A significant share of respondents (15%) also chose the regulation of business as their top concern, Thompson noted.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. In July, 127 businesses responded, for a response rate of 25 percent. Thompson combined June and July 2015 responses to analyze economic trends by region.
“Businesses in the Omaha area were especially optimistic,” Thompson said, while businesses Central Nebraska were optimistic and businesses in Southeast Nebraska were positive. The weakest outlook was found in the most heavily agricultural regions of the state. In particular, respondents in Northeast Nebraska were only slightly positive about sales and employment over the next six months and businesses in West Nebraska had a neutral outlook.