Nebraska businesses have more confidence in economy than consumers

Consumer confidence among Nebraska’s residents rose slightly last month but continues to be weak when compared with the confidence level in the state’s business community, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist said Thursday.

The consumer results, based on 127 responses to a survey, rose to 89.2 in January from a value of 88.2 in December, said Eric Thompson, director of the UNL Bureau of Business Research.

Results below 100 — with 100 being neutral — indicate weak consumer confidence. Results above 100 show strong consumer confidence.

“Poor wage growth for working- and middle-class households may be the reason that consumers continue to feel less confident than businesses,” Thompson said.

The state’s business community, on the other hand, remains optimistic. Its confidence rose to 107.8 in January from a value of 105.7 in December.

Thompson said the business confidence index is a new feature, which launched this month.

A value above 100 indicates strong business confidence; below 100 indicates weak business confidence.

The new index provides a comparison between the business confidence value and the consumer confidence value, Thompson said.

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