Decline in manufacturing hours leads to drop in economic indicator

Decline in manufacturing hours leads to drop in economic indicator

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The state of Nebraska's economic growth is expected to slow 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 economic growth six months into the future, fell by 0.38 percent in August.

"The August decline in the indicator suggests that economic growth will slow in the state in early 2018," said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at Nebraska.

The drop in the leading indicator was primarily the result of a decline in manufacturing hours worked during August. Manufacturing hours had risen in July.

"A sustained expansion of the manufacturing sector will be required to ignite rapid economic growth in Nebraska," Thompson said.

Just two components of the indicator improved during August. Respondents to the August Survey of Nebraska Business indicated that they expect sales and employment to increase at their businesses over the next six months. There also was a decline in the value of the U.S. dollar during August, which is positive for export-oriented businesses in the state.

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.