Consumer and business confidence remains strong in Nebraska, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Responses to the March Survey of Nebraska Households indicate that consumer confidence rose well above the neutral level of 100.0, with a reading of 110.0. The March reading is a significant increase from the February value of 103.2.
Nebraska business confidence stood at 108.9, based on responses to the March Survey of Nebraska Business. This is well above the neutral value of 100 and up slightly from a reading of 108.2 in February.
“Just 8 percent of businesses reported flooding or weather as their top business issue,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as Bureau director. “This lower percentage may reflect that many of the March surveys were completed in the first week of the month.” The April survey should capture more information about the implications of flooding for consumer and business confidence in Nebraska.
Twenty-two percent of responding households indicate that their top financial issue is health care costs while 20 percent chose taxes. Ten percent of businesses also chose taxes as their top business issue. However, businesses were more likely to be concerned about other factors. Thirty-one percent of businesses chose customer demand as their top business issue, while 21 percent chose labor availability and 12 percent chose competition.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During March, 154 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 31 percent. There were 109 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 22 percent.