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November 30, 2022

Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator Falls Again in October

State Economic Growth to Stagnate in Early 2023
Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator Falls Again in October
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Leading Economic Indicator (LEI), used to predict economic activity six months into the future, declined modestly in October by 0.12%. Eric Thompson, department chair, K.H. Nelson College Professor of Economics and director of Bureau of Business Research, suggested the lack of growth over the last few months indicates a stagnant economy for the state in early 2023.

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Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator fell again in October, 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 dropped by 0.12%.

“The leading indicator has dropped in four of the last six months, suggesting that there will be no growth in the Nebraska economy in early 2023.” 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.

Four components of the leading indicator worsened during October. Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose in a sign of softening in the Nebraska labor market. The value of the U.S. dollar also rose during October.

“A higher value for the U.S. dollar can make it more difficult for Nebraska businesses to match the prices of international competitors,” said Thompson.

Building permits for single-family homes also dropped in October on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“Higher interest rates will continue to impact activity among home builders,” according to Thompson.

Airline passenger counts were the final declining component. Airline passenger counts serve as a broad-based economic indicator, reflecting both consumer and business confidence.

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