The Nebraska economy will grow through the 4th quarter of 2018, according to the most recent leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, rose by 0.67 percent in April of 2018.
“The leading indicator has risen every month during 2018, suggesting that the Nebraska economy will continue to grow through the 4th quarter of the year,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.
Three components contributed to the growth in the leading indicator. There was an increase in airline passenger counts in Nebraska during April, after adjusting for seasonal factors. Businesses also reported plans to increase employment and sales over the next 6 months, in responses to the April Survey of Nebraska Business. Finally, initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped in April, suggesting continued strength in the Nebraska labor market.
There were, however, pockets of weakness in the Nebraska economy, including a decline in residential building permits and manufacturing hours. The value of the U.S. dollar also rose during April, the third consecutive monthly increase. “An increase in the value of the dollar raises competitive pressure on exporting businesses, especially in agriculture and manufacturing,” according to Thompson.