March 20, 2019

Business Expectations Key to Rising Leading Indicator

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose again during February, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
 
The leading indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, rose by 0.38%. The February rise was the 5th consecutive monthly increase.  
 
March 2019 Leading Economic Indicator Nebraska
March 2019 Leading Economic Indicator Nebraska
“The increase suggests that moderate economic growth will continue in Nebraska through the third quarter of 2019,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.
 
For the second consecutive month, strong business expectations were the primary reason for the jump in the Nebraska indicator. Respondents to the February Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months. 
 
“Business expectations were at odds with other components of the leading economic indicator,” according to Thompson. Building permits for single-family homes declined during February while the value of the U.S. dollar also increased during the month. A higher U.S. dollar is challenging for manufacturers and others businesses which export.