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Indicator Rises Sharply During January

Nebraska’s economic growth will improve during the second half of 2017, according to the latest 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 1.97% percent in January. 
“The rapid increase in the indicator during January is a positive sign for Nebraska economic growth,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university. “Economic growth should improve in Nebraska by mid-2017.”
February 2017 Leading Economic Indicator Nebraska
February 2017 Leading Economic Indicator Nebraska
Businesses maintained a positive outlook during January, with respondents to the January Survey of Nebraska Business anticipating an increase in both sales and employment over the next six months. 
“Business expectations have strengthened in recent months,” said Thompson. 
Initial claims for unemployment insurance also fell sharply during January. The drop in initial claims, however, simply reversed a sharp increase during December. 
The value of the U.S. dollar was little changed during January. “A stable U.S. dollar is good news for Nebraska exporters, especially after rapid increases in the dollar during the second half of 2016,” Thompson said.
The leading economic indicator report is produced monthly by faculty and students in the Bureau of Business Research in Nebraska’s College of Business Administration. 
Published: February 17, 2017