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February 7, 2020

Resolutions and Confidence for Nebraska Households in the New Year

Resolutions and Confidence for Nebraska Households in the New Year
Consumer confidence surged higher in Nebraska during January, according to the latest monthly survey from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Consumer confidence rose to 115.8 in January 2020, far above the neutral level of 100 and a value of 102.0 in December 2019.

By contrast, business confidence fell during January after an end-of-the-year surge in December. Business confidence fell back to a value of 110.2 in January after spiking to 119.3 in December.

“The surge in consumer confidence is an encouraging sign for the Nebraska economy,” said Dr. Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as Bureau director, “but it remains to be seen whether it is a long-term increase or a temporary jump at the New Year.”

Saving for the future was the most common concern among Nebraska households. Thirty-three percent of households listed their level of savings or a need to pay down debt as their top concern during January. “It is not surprising that households would focus on debt and saving around the new year, as they resolve to address long-term financial goals,” according to Thompson.

Nebraska businesses remained most concerned about customer demand, the quality and availability of labor, and competition with other businesses. One in five businesses prioritized public policy-related matters such as taxes, health care costs and government regulation.

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During January, 124 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 25 percent. There were 141 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 28 percent.