September 25, 2019

Nebraska Indicator: The Economic Outlook Clouds During August

Nebraska Indicator: The Economic Outlook Clouds During August
Nebraska’s leading economic indicator fell during August, 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, fell by 1.89%. The August drop reversed a strong 2.51% increase during July. 
 
“Taken together, results from the last two months suggest modest economic growth in Nebraska at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.
 
“Five of six components of the leading indicator worsened during August,” according to Thompson. Manufacturing hours worked, building permits for single-family homes and airline passenger counts all declined during the month while initial claims for unemployment insurance rose. Further, the value of the U.S. dollar rose sharply during August, which creates challenges for Nebraska businesses that export. Business expectations were the only positive note. Respondents to the August Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months.