Economic indicator: Outlook for 2017 holds steady

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Economic indicator: Outlook for 2017 holds steady

Nebraska’s economic growth will remain modest through the first half of 2017, according to the latest 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 0.32 percent in November.

“The November decrease followed increases in September and October,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university. “Taken together, recent results suggest that the Nebraska economy will grow next year but that the rate of growth will be modest.”

Airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours declined during November, both potentially negative signs for the Nebraska economy. There also was an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance and another increase in the value of the U.S. dollar.

“A rising dollar is a drag on Nebraska’s export-oriented businesses, such as agriculture and manufacturing,” Thompson said. “For example, a higher dollar is associated with lower prices for agricultural commodities.”

Just two components of the indicator rose during November. There was an increase in building permits for single-family homes. Business expectations also were positive, as respondents to the November Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to expand both sales and employment over the next six months.

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

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

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