Economic indicators increase for third straight month

Economic indicators increase for third straight month

Eric Thompson (second from right), associate professor of economics, works with student research assistants in the College of Business Administration’s Bureau of Business Research. The bureau is designed to assist with Nebraska’s economic development efforts.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Eric Thompson (second from right), associate professor of economics, works with student research assistants in the College of Business Administration’s Bureau of Business Research. The bureau is designed to assist with Nebraska’s economic development efforts.

March produced further evidence of an improving Nebraska economy, according to the latest leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, rose by 1 percent in March after increasing by more than 1.75 percent during both January and February.

"Three consecutive increases provide a very positive sign for Nebraska economic growth," said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.

Business expectations were again key to the increase in the leading indicator. Respondents to the March Survey of Nebraska Business were very optimistic about increasing sales and employment over the next six months. Improved expectations have been matched with other signs of growth, including an increase in manufacturing hours.

A falling U.S. dollar was another contributor.

"The value of the U.S. dollar has declined in each of the last three months," Thompson said. "A lower dollar is positive for Nebraska's export-oriented businesses."

The leading economic indicator report is produced monthly by faculty and students in the Bureau of Business Research in Nebraska's College of Business.

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