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Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator Signals Slower Growth Ahead

Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator fell by 0.45 percent in September, marking the second decline in three months.

“The decline in the Leading Economic Indicator suggests weaker growth for the Nebraska economy during the first quarter of 2015,” said University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research. “The Nebraska economy is growing solidly at the moment but economic momentum will weaken around the turn of the year.”

One key reason for the decline in the Leading Economic Indicators was a sharp increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during September. “A rising dollars impacts the competitiveness of export businesses both in Nebraska and around the country,” said Thompson.

Business expectations also moderated in September. After months of strong business expectations, respondents to the September Survey of Nebraska Business reported only limited expectations for growth.

Other components of the Leading Economic Indicator changed little during September. There was a modest increase in single-family building permits, after seasonal adjustment. But, there was no changed in manufacturing hours and a slight decline in airline passenger counts.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance also rose in September on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

The indicator is a composite of six components to predict economic growth six months into the future. It is produced by faculty and students in the Department of Economics and the Bureau of Business Research in UNL’s College of Business Administration.

Leading Economic Indicator Graph - Nebraska

October Leading Economic Indicator - Nebraska Report

Published: October 17, 2014