June 21, 2023

Nebraska economy expected to grow through 2023, indicator suggests

A young man wearing a hard hat and safety goggles operates a machine.


Nebraska’s leading economic indicator increased in May, 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 0.56%.

“The increase in the leading indicator suggests the economy will grow through the end of 2023,” 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.

Three indicator components improved significantly in May, including manufacturing hours worked.

Video: Eric Thompson discusses the May leading economic indicator report

“Nebraska manufacturing has benefited from higher food prices, given that food processing and agricultural equipment production are both a focus of the Nebraska manufacturing industry,” Thompson said.

Business expectations were positive and building permits for single-family homes rose.

Respondents to the May survey reported plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months, Thompson said.

“While interest rates have risen over the past year, rates have stabilized more recently, allowing the home construction industry to expand modestly,” he said.

Read the full report and a technical report describing the indicators.