Surveys: Consumer confidence slides; business confidence remains strong

Surveys: Consumer confidence slides; business confidence remains strong

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Consumer confidence tumbled in Nebraska during September, 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 93.5 in September from a value of 100.9 in August. The September value is well below the neutral level of 100.0, indicating that consumer confidence is now weak in Nebraska. Just under 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. Twelve percent cited concerns about their job or business.

"Consumer confidence in Nebraska has returned to levels last seen in 2016," said Eric Thompson, an economist who is bureau director. "The improvement in consumer confidence during the first half of 2017 appears to be abating."

By contrast, the monthly Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that the state's business confidence has remained steady, actually rising slightly from a value of 104.2 in August to 105.2 in September.

"Business confidence remains strong in Nebraska," Thompson said.

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During September, 156 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 31 percent. There were 136 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.