June 19, 2019

Strong business expectations boost Nebraska leading indicator



Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose during May, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The leading indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, rose by 0.63%. The May rise was the eighth-consecutive monthly increase.

“The leading economic indicator rose due to strong business expectations,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.

Respondents to the May Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months.

Other components of the indicator were mixed during May. Airline passenger counts and building permits for single-family homes were up slightly during the month. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell on a seasonally adjusted basis. In terms of negative components, there was an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during May, which creates challenges for Nebraska businesses that export. Manufacturing hours also are thought to have dropped during the month.

“Hard data about the economy present a less-optimistic scenario than survey-based business expectations,” Thompson said.

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

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

Video: Eric Thompson discusses the May leading economic indicator report