An increased number of first-time unemployment claims led to a slight drop of 0.07 percent in Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator in March.
However, when combined with February’s solid growth, the signals still point to moderate growth in Nebraska’s economy in coming months, said Eric Thompson, a UNL economist and director of the Bureau of Business Research. The indicator has gained in three of the past six months, with increases continuing to outpace declines.
Thompson noted that businesses that responded to the March Survey of Nebraska Business indicated they expected job and sales growth in coming months.
“Strong business expectations in March were offset by an increase in initial unemployment claims,” Thompson said. With little change in other factors, “the net impact was a slight decline in the Leading Economic Indicator during March.”
The Leading Economic Indicator is a composite of six components that predict future economic growth: single-family building permits, airline passenger counts, initial unemployment claims, manufacturing hours, the value of the U.S. dollar, and business expectations as reported from the Survey of Nebraska Business.
The full Nebraska Monthly Economic Indicators report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the UNL College of Business Administration website, http://www.cba.unl.edu.