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February 2, 2022

Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator Continues to Rise

Moderate Economic Growth Expected in Mid-2022
Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator Continues to Rise
The Nebraska Leading Economic Indicator increased in December by 0.73%, suggesting moderate economic growth in Nebraska during the second quarter of 2022.

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in December, 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 0.73%.

“The indicator has improved steadily for three consecutive months, suggesting moderate economic growth in Nebraska during the second quarter of 2022,” said economist Eric Thompson, K.H. Nelson College Professor, professor of economics and director of the 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 and the value of the U.S. dollar and manufacturing hours worked.

Three components of the leading indicator improved in Nebraska during December. Building permits rose for the third consecutive month.

“The increase in permits shows that builders plan to expand activity to meet strong demand in 2022, even in an environment of rising interest rates,” said Thompson. “The Nebraska economy also benefits from positive businesses expectations and a strong labor market.”

Respondents to the December Survey of Nebraska Businesses reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months.

There also was another decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance during December.

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