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October Surveys: Business and Consumer Outlooks Moderate

Business and consumer confidence moderated in Nebraska during October, according to the latest monthly surveys conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
“Businesses optimism waned during October while the consumer outlook improved,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director. 
The business outlook was only slightly positive.  The monthly Survey of Nebraska Businesses showed a neutral outlook for sales and a slightly positive outlook for employment. Twenty-four percent of responding businesses anticipate sales at their business to increase over the next six months and the same percent expect sales to fall. Ten percent of businesses expect to increase employment over the next six months versus 7 percent who expect to reduce it. 
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Nebraska’s consumer confidence index, which is based on a monthly survey of Nebraska households, rose to 94.0 in October. This value remains below the neutral level of 100, which indicates weak consumer confidence.  However, the index improved from a reading of 87.9 in September.
“There was a significant rebound in consumer confidence during October,” said Thompson.  “It will be interesting to monitor whether consumer confidence continues to improve over the next few months.”
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During October, 146 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 29 percent. There were 124 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 25 percent. 
Published: November 4, 2016