Survey: Business confidence in Nebraska and region tumbles to record low with Russian invasion into Ukraine

By: - March 4, 2022 1:32 pm

Ukraine Ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

A monthly economic report covering Nebraska and surrounding states says the Russian invasion into Ukraine pushed regional business confidence to the lowest level it’s been since the survey began in 1994.

“Concerns about the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war, higher interest rates, soaring inflation and supply chain disruptions combined to hammer business confidence,” said Ernie Goss, who leads the Omaha-based Creighton University Economic Forecasting Group, which produces the report.

“Interruptions in trade flows will also weaken the regional recovery which was already slowing significantly,” said Goss, the Jack A. MacAllister chair in regional economics at Creighton’s Heider College of Business.

Nebraska’s overall index rises

For the past 28 years, the economic forecasting group has conducted the monthly survey of supply managers in nine states to produce leading economic indicators. Besides Nebraska, states surveyed are Iowa, Kansas, North and South Dakota, Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

In its analysis, the forecasting group provides an overall business index that looks at areas such as confidence, employment and trade. A score greater than 50 indicates expansion over three to six months.

In Nebraska, the overall index for February went up from 54.6 last month to 63.2 in February. 

Optimism plummets

Regionally, the overall index rose to 64 from January’s 56.2. Economic optimism, as captured in the business confidence-specific index, tumbled to a record survey low of 19.5, down from 36.2 last month.

Across the nine states, 43.5% of supply managers ranked supply disruptions as a top challenge this year; nearly 35% said the most challenging was finding and hiring qualified workers.

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.

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