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July Surveys: Consumer and Business Confidence Moderate
Nebraska Ag Connection - 08/07/2017

Consumer and business confidence moderated in Nebraska during July, 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 102.5 in July from a value of 104.7 in June. While down, the July value remains well above the neutral level of 100.0, indicating that Nebraska consumers are confident. More than half of the respondents cited cost concerns -- such as cost of living, health care costs, taxes and other major expenses -- as their top financial issue. Health care and health insurance costs were the most commonly reported issue.

"Nebraska consumers remain confident about their financial situation and making a major purchase," said Eric Thompson, an economist and bureau director.

The monthly Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that the state's business confidence fell from a value of 109.2 in June to 105.1 in July.

"Nebraska businesses remained confident about the prospects for both sales and employment during July," Thompson said. "Business confidence, however, retreated in July from very high levels observed during the first six months of 2017."

During July, there was an elevated level of concern about customer demand among businesses in two key industries: agriculture and health care. Businesses also faced increased competition in both the product and labor markets.

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During July, 133 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 27 percent. There were 142 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 28 percent.

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