Nebraska business confidence surged again in March, according to the latest monthly survey from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
The Business Confidence Index-Nebraska rose from a value of 97.1 in February to 107.7 in March. The March reading is well above the neutral level of 100.
The index reflects both recent conditions and expectations about the next six months. The expectations component of the index was especially strong, with a reading of 124.6 in March.
“Strong expectations suggest that businesses are planning for rapid economic growth in Nebraska over the next six months,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director.
Twenty-one percent of business respondents mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic as their top business concern. Another 23% focused on customer demand without specifically mentioning COVID-19. Supply issues also were a factor. Seventeen percent of responding businesses indicated that the quality and availability of labor was their top concern, while another 12% chose the cost of goods and services. Thirteen percent mentioned a challenge with operations, such as collecting fees or controlling expenses.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. During March, 93 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 19%.