Consumer confidence is down at the beginning of the year, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research (BBR).
The group’s monthly index shows a 4.3% decline from December to January.
BBR Director Eric Thompson says he is not surprised.
“I think the decline from December to January probably reflects sort of the end of the holiday season,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN, “where there’s some optimism in the holiday season followed by a drop-off in optimism as those credit card bills come in in January.”
While consumer confidence is down, Thompson says approximately two out of five business owners are optimistic about the next six months.
“We know that in the Nebraska and U.S. economy right now, we have kind of a mixed picture with some sectors doing well, other sectors struggling,” Thompson says. “I think we see this in our two surveys as well where consumer confidence is weak, but the business confidence, business expectation seems to be stronger.”
The survey shows business owners are optimistic that sales and employment will grow during the next six months.
Among business owners’ top concerns, 42% of respondents cite customer demand, while the availability and quality of labor is on the top of mind for 18% of respondents.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.