Businesses remain more optimistic than consumers about Nebraska's economy, according to two monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The monthly Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that Nebraska’s business confidence index rose to 107.8 in January from a value of 105.7 in December 2016. Both values are well above the neutral level of 100, and indicate that business confidence is strong.

Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director, said businesses expressed more confidence about both sales and employment prospects in January.

Consumer confidence, however, continues to lag.

The monthly Survey of Nebraska Households showed that Nebraska’s consumer confidence index rose to 89.2 in January from a value of 88.2 in December. While the index improved, it remained well below the neutral level of 100, indicating that Nebraska consumer confidence remains weak.

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

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During December, 139 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 28 percent. There were 127 respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 25 percent.

For more information, the full survey report is available on the Bureau of Business Research website, www.bbr.unl.edu.

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