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October Increase in Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator

Moderate Economic Growth Expected in the Spring of Next Year
October Increase in Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator
The Nebraska Leading Economic Indicator rose in October by 0.61%, suggesting moderate economic growth in the spring of 2022.

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in October, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The leading indicator is designed to predict economic activity six months into the future.

The leading indicator increased by 0.61%, a moderate pace of improvement.

“The rising indicator suggests Nebraska will enjoy moderate economic growth in the spring of 2022,” 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 are 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.

Building permits for single-family home rose, as well as two other components of the leading indicator during October.

“Given strong demand, developers expanded plans for homebuilding despite the limited availability of construction materials and workers,” said Thompson.

In addition, business expectations were positive. Respondents to the October Survey of Nebraska Businesses reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months.

There also were further signs of strength in the Nebraska labor market. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell in Nebraska during October.

“A rising dollar is one concern for Nebraska business,” said Thompson. The value of the U.S. dollar rose during October, as part of a recent upward trend. A rising dollar creates challenges for agricultural producers, manufacturers and other Nebraska businesses which compete in international markets.

The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the Bureau of Business Research website,

Published: November 24, 2021