Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator rose 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 Economic Indicator increased by 0.50%.
"The modest increase in the leading indicator suggests that there will be slow economic growth in Nebraska during the first quarter of 2024," said economist Eric Thompson, department chair, K.H. Nelson College Professor of Economics and director of Bureau of Business Research.
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.
Two of six indicator components improved during September.
Manufacturing hours-worked expanded during the month. "The Nebraska manufacturing sector is focused on food processing and producing equipment for agricultural, so it has benefited from high food prices and a strong farm economy," according to Thompson.
“Given strength in the state’s key industries, Nebraska businesses remain confident about their prospects,” said Thompson. Respondents to the September Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months.
Housing activity was one weak spot in the state economy. There was a decline in building permits for single-family homes during September. “High and rising interest rates continue to challenge the state’s homebuilding industry,” he said.
The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the Bureau of Business Research website: https://bbr.unl.edu.
Published: October 30, 2023