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Nebraska businesses still positive about the economy
Nebraska business leaders remain positive about the outlook for sales and jobs during the next six months, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Among respondents to the August survey, 28 percent expected sales to increase over the next six months, outweighing the 18 percent who predicted a decline in sales. The response is slightly less optimistic than the June and July surveys, when a third or more of respondents expected increasing sales in coming months.
Twelve percent of respondents to the August survey said they expect to add employees in the next six months, with only 5 percent expecting to reduce employment. In both June and July, 14 percent of respondents said they expected to increase jobs.
“Nebraska business continue to be positive about both sales and employment, despite weakness in China and other overseas economies,” said UNL economist Eric Thompson, the bureau’s director. “This consistent optimism suggests that economic growth should continue in Nebraska through the rest of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.”
Customer demand was the most common business concern, cited by 34 percent of respondents. The quality and availability of labor was cited second most often, chosen by 15 percent of respondents. The share of respondents choosing the costs of goods and services as the top issue was 12 percent. The share choosing the costs of goods and service was higher than in recent months, Thompson noted.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. In August, 143 businesses responded, for a response rate of 29 percent. Thompson combined July and August 2015 responses to analyze economic trends by region.
“Businesses throughout Nebraska held a positive outlook, including in most agricultural regions of the state,” Thompson said. Businesses in Omaha and central Nebraska were the most positive. Businesses in northeast and southeast Nebraska also were positive. The outlook was neutral in western Nebraska, with a positive sales outlook but a negative employment outlook.
For more information, the full survey report is available on the Bureau of Business Research website, http://www.bbr.unl.edu.