May 22, 2019

Business Expectations Push the Nebraska Leading Indicator Higher

Business Expectations Push the Nebraska Leading Indicator Higher
Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose again during April, 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 0.79%. The April rise was the seventh consecutive monthly increase.  
 
“Business expectations were the primary reason for the increase in the leading indicator,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.
 
Respondents to the April Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months. Manufacturing activity also rose during April.  
 
Most other components of the indicator, such as building permits for single-family homes, airport passenger enplanements and the value of the U.S. Dollar, were little changed during April. However, there was an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance, even after seasonal adjustment. “The increase in claims suggests some softening in Nebraska’s strong labor market,” according to Thompson.
 
The leading economic indicator report is produced monthly by faculty and students in the Bureau of Business Research in Nebraska’s College of Business.