Indicator: Nebraska economic growth to continue into 2018

Indicator: Nebraska economic growth to continue into 2018

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The Nebraska economy is expected to grow in early 2018, according to the most recent leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict growth six months into the future, rose by 0.56 percent in July.

"The July increase in the indicator, when coupled with a strong increase during June, indicates that the Nebraska economy will grow throughout the rest of 2017 and into the first month of 2018," said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at Nebraska.

Four of six components of the indicator rose during July. Factories were busier in the state, as manufacturing hours rose during the month. Consistent with that, the value of the U.S. dollar fell, which is positive for manufacturing and agricultural businesses that export. Overall business expectations also were solid, with respondents to the July Survey of Nebraska Business reporting plans to expand employment and sales over the next six months. In a positive sign for the labor market, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell during July.

"Growth in manufacturing and other sectors that export is very supportive of sustainable economic growth," Thompson said. "It will be critical to monitor trends in manufacturing hours and the U.S. dollar in the coming months."

Just two components of the indicator declined during July. There was a decrease in building permits for single-family homes in Nebraska and a slight decline in airline passengers.

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.