Nebraska business confidence was positive in January, according to the latest monthly survey from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
The Business Confidence Index–Nebraska had a value of 105.9, above the neutral level of 100.
“Business confidence turned positive in Nebraska during January,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director. “What remains to be seen is whether January reflects a permanent improvement or simply New Year’s optimism.”
Expectations are the key to business confidence. The recent conditions sub-index, which reflects the change in sales and employment during recent months, was below the neutral level, at a value of 92.6. The expectations sub-index, by contrast, was far above neutral, at 119.3.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continued to be the primary challenge faced by Nebraska businesses,” Thompson said.
Thirty-five percent of business respondents mentioned the pandemic as their top business concern. Another 29% focused on customer demand without specifically mentioning COVID-19, and 15% listed the quality and availability of labor as their top concern.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. During January, 95 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 19%.