Surveys: Consumer, business confidence lower than in first half of 2017

Surveys: Consumer, business confidence lower than in first half of 2017

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Consumer and business confidence fell in Nebraska during August, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The monthly Survey of Nebraska Households showed that the state's consumer confidence index fell to 100.9 in August from a value of 102.5 in July. The August value remains above the neutral level of 100.0, indicating that Nebraska consumers can be described as confident, but is below values observed during the first half of 2017. More than half of the respondents cited cost concerns – such as the cost of living, health care costs, taxes and other major expenses – as the top financial issue they face.

"Consumer confidence has moderated relative to the enthusiasm observed during the first half of 2017," said Eric Thompson, an economist and bureau director.

The monthly Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that the state's business confidence fell from 105.1 in July to 104.2 in August.

"In both July and August, business confidence was strong in Nebraska but below the very strong levels observed during the first half of 2017," Thompson said. "Businesses reported growing competition for both customers and workers."

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During August, 138 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 28 percent. There were 135 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 27 percent.

For more information, the full survey report is available on the Bureau of Business Research website here.