Consumer and business confidence dropped in Nebraska during March, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Nebraska consumer confidence turned negative in March, dropping to 97.9, which is below the neutral level of 100. The consumer confidence index stood at 107.9 in February. Eleven percent of household respondents mentioned COVID-19 when commenting on their most important financial issue.
Nebraska business confidence remained positive in Nebraska. However, business confidence fell to 105.2 in March from 111.1 in February. Twenty-four percent of business respondents mentioned COVID-19 when commenting on the most important issue facing their business.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on confidence in the Nebraska economy,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director.
The other top concerns of responding Nebraska households were paying down debt and the cost of health care and health insurance. Responding Nebraska businesses also were concerned with customer demand in general, the quality and availability of labor, taxes, regulations, and the cost of goods and services.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During March, 116 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 23%. There were 128 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 26%.