August 23, 2023

Economic growth to continue in Nebraska through early 2024, indicator suggests

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator grew in July, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The indicator, designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, rose 0.89%.

“The solid increase in the leading indicator suggests economic growth will continue in Nebraska through the end of 2023 and into the first month of 2024,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research, department chair and K.H. Nelson College Professor of Economics.

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.

Video: Eric Thompson discusses the July leading economic indicator report

Five of the six components — all except airline passenger counts — improved in July.

“Respondents to the July business survey reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months,” Thompson said.

Manufacturing hours and building permits for single-family homes also rose during July.

“Nebraska home builders and food manufacturers benefit from high prices for their products,” Thompson said.

There were signs of strength in Nebraska’s labor market as initial claims for unemployment insurance fell in the state. 

The value of the U.S. dollar also fell in July.

“A lower value for the U.S. dollar benefits businesses that compete in international markets, including manufacturing and agricultural businesses,” Thompson said.

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