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October 27, 2021

Nebraska Economic Indicator Drops in September

Economic Growth to Slow in First Quarter of 2022
Nebraska Economic Indicator Drops in September
The Nebraska Leading Economic Indicator dropped in September by 0.91%, suggesting slowing economic growth in the next six months.

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator fell in September, 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 dropped by 0.91%.

“The moderate decline suggests economic growth will slow significantly in Nebraska during the first quarter of 2022,” said economist Dr. Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research and K.H. Nelson Professor of Economics. “The economy will expand, but at a lukewarm pace.”

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.

Most components of the leading indicator fell during September, including building permits for single-family homes.

“Home construction activity continues to be hampered by a limited availability of construction materials and workers,” said Thompson.

Manufacturing hours-worked also fell. The September decline breaks a streak of steady expansion in Nebraska manufacturing activity during 2021.

“Given that demand remains strong for food products, manufacturing growth is likely to return over the next few months,” said Thompson.

Airline passenger counts also declined in Nebraska. There was a national slowdown in airline activity as COVID-19 cases spiked in September.

“Business expectations remain one bright spot for the Nebraska economy,” said Thompson. Respondent to the September Survey of Nebraska Businesses reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months.

The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the Bureau of Business Research website: https://bbr.unl.edu.