Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in February, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, the leading indicator increased by a rapid 2.41%.
“The February value for the indicator suggests the Nebraska economy had strong momentum at the beginning of the year,” said economist Eric Thompson, department chair, K.H. Nelson College Professor of Economics and director of Bureau of Business Research.
“The rate of growth, however, will moderate in the coming months as energy prices and interest rates increase,” Thompson said.
The six components of Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator include business expectations, building permits for single-family homes, airline passenger counts, initial claims for unemployment insurance, the value of the U.S. dollar and manufacturing hours worked.
The leading indicator improved due to the increased positive business expectations. Respondents to the February Survey of Nebraska Businesses reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months. Further, a sharp decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance was noted during February.
In addition, airline passenger counts, manufacturing hours-worked and building-permits for single family homes all improved in February.
“A rapid decline in COVID-19 cases during February led to a recovery of airline activity as well as a general rebound in economic activity,” said Thompson.
The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the Bureau of Business Research website, https://bbr.unl.edu.