Consumer confidence turned negative in Nebraska during September, according to the latest monthly survey from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Consumer confidence fell to 97.7 in September, based on responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households. This is below the neutral value of 100 and down from 105.8 in August.

Consumer confidence also was negative in April and just above neutral in July.

Businesses, by contrast, offer a positive assessment of the economy. Respondents to the September Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that business confidence rose to 110.9 during the month, up from 108.5 in August. Both monthly readings suggest that business confidence remains strong in the state.

“The combined results for consumer and business confidence suggest that economic growth will continue in Nebraska, but at a slower pace,” said Eric Thompson, an economist and bureau director.

Health care costs, taxes and the general cost of living were the most common concerns among Nebraska households. Nebraska businesses were concerned about competition in the product and labor markets. Twenty-four percent of businesses chose labor availability as their top business issue while 16% chose competition from other businesses.

The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses and households. During September, 138 businesses responded to the Survey of Nebraska Business, for a response rate of 28%. There were 122 responses to the Survey of Nebraska Households, for a response rate of 24%.

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