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Consumers and businesses parted ways on their confidence in the economy in September, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Results from the Survey of Nebraska Households indicate that consumer confidence fell to 97 in September, from the neutral value of 100.2 in August. A value of 97 suggests that consumer confidence is negative in the state.

“Concerns about the level of wages and the cost of living contributed to negative consumer confidence in Nebraska,” Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director, said in a news release.

Business confidence remained at a high level in September, according to the results of the Survey of Nebraska Business. Business confidence rose slightly to 110.6 from a value of 110.4 during August.

The surveys also gathered information about the top issues faced by businesses. “Competition in labor and product markets were among the top business concerns,” according to Thompson. Twenty-six percent of businesses chose the availability of labor as their top concern while 16 percent chose competition from other businesses or a need to improve business practices.

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During September, 128 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 26 percent. There were 121 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 24 percent.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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