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Consumer and business confidence both fell in Nebraska during February, according to the latest monthly surveys from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Both measures had been near record levels in January.

Nebraska’s business confidence index fell to 107.4 in February from 112.2 in January, according to responses to the monthly Survey of Nebraska Business. Both values are well above the neutral level of 100.

“Nebraska business confidence remained strong during February,” Eric Thompson, an economist who serves as bureau director, said in a news release. “However, businesses still faced several concerns. Many businesses struggled with finding enough qualified workers and with online competition.”

Nebraska’s consumer confidence index, which is based on the monthly Survey of Nebraska Households, fell more, to a value of 101.6 in February from 115.2 in January. That was still above the neutral level of 100, indicating that consumer confidence remains positive.

“Consumer confidence continues to be more volatile than business confidence” said Thompson. “Consumer confidence rises and falls as consumers react to developments in the job market, the cost of living and the stock market.”

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During February, 143 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 29 percent. There were 132 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 26 percent.

The full survey report is available on the Bureau of Business Research website, bbr.unl.edu.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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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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