Nebraska business confidence was mixed again in August, 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 89.7 in August, which is well below the neutral level of 100.
The aggregate index value, however, reflects a significant difference between recent conditions and expectations about the next six months. The recent conditions sub-index, which reflects the change in sales and employment during recent months, was far below the neutral level, at 73. The expectations sub-index, by contrast, was above the neutral level, at 106.4.
“Business expectations were positive in August,” said Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director. “More businesses reported plans to increase employment than reported plans to decrease it.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and customer demand in general are the primary concerns for Nebraska businesses. Thirty-five percent of business respondents mentioned the pandemic as their top concern due to its impact on customer demand and business operations. Another 27% focused on customer demand without specifically mentioning COVID-19.
“Other top concerns included the quality and availability of labor, the cost of goods and services, and challenges with business operations,” Thompson said.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. During August, 119 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 24%.
For more information, the full survey report is available on the Bureau of Business Research website, http://www.bbr.unl.edu.