Nebraska's leading economic indicator rose in June. This is the fifth straight month the indicator increased, providing reliable evidence for solid growth in the state economy for the remainder of 2014.
"It suggests that the Nebraska economy is slowly gaining momentum over the course of the year, with the strongest growth to occur in the second half of 2014," said UNL economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research.
The indicator, which grew 1.01 percent in June, is a weighted composite of six economic measurements that predict future growth: single-family building permits, airline passenger counts, initial unemployment claims, manufacturing hours, the value of the U.S. dollar, and business expectations gathered from the monthly Survey of Nebraska Business.
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.
After some volatility at the start of the year, the indicator has shown slow but steady improvement since February. June's increase was spurred by slight growth in home building, a moderate reduction in first-time unemployment claims and moderate improvement in business expectations. A majority of respondents to the survey predicted sales and employment to hold steady or grow in coming months.
There were modest declines in airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours. A slight increase in the value of the U.S. dollar is a negative signal for Nebraska exporters.
The full Nebraska Monthly Economic Indicators report and a Technical Report describing the indicators are available at the College of Business Administration website, http://ww.cba.unl.edu. A video version of this report, featuring Thompson, also is available at http://youtu.be/_IH0nk0i39Y.