Business expectations, consumer confidence hold steady

· 2 min read

Business expectations, consumer confidence hold steady

Studies conducted by UNL's Bureau of Business Research in April
Rural health is one of the topics to be discussed at the Rural Futures Conference, Nov. 3-5 in Lincoln. The conference is organized by the Rural Futures Institute.
University Communications file photo

Business expectations and consumer confidence held steady in Nebraska during April, according to the latest monthly surveys conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Strong business expectations reported in the April Survey of Nebraska Business are consistent with results from the March survey. In April, 32 percent of businesses said they expect sales to grow over the next six months, compared to 15 percent who think sales will decline. Businesses also remain optimistic about job growth.

Nebraska’s Consumer Confidence Index, by contrast, was 92.2 in April, up slightly from a March value of 91.0. This value, while steady, is well below the neutral baseline value of 100. The Consumer Confidence Index-Nebraska is estimated based on responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households.

“A strong economy is key to improving consumer confidence,” said bureau director Eric Thompson, a UNL economist.

Thompson added that strong business expectations suggest the economy will strengthen later in the year.

“Strong businesses expectations reported in the March and April surveys portend rapid economic growth in Nebraska during the second half of 2016,” he said.

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. In April, 103 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 21 percent. There were 68 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 14 percent.

For more information, the full survey report is available here.

Eric Thompson (second from right), associate professor of economics, works with student research assistants in the College of Business Administration’s Bureau of Business Research. The bureau is designed to assist with Nebraska’s economic development efforts.

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