Economic indicator points to momentum loss in late 2017

Economic indicator points to momentum loss in late 2017

Nebraska's leading economic indicator showed a decline in manufacturing hours in May.
Nebraska's leading economic indicator showed a decline in manufacturing hours in May.

Economic growth will slow in Nebraska in late 2017, 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 0.51 percent in May after rising rapidly in January, February and March. “The decline, when coupled with an April drop in the LEI-N, implies that the Nebraska economy will lose economic momentum during the fourth quarter of 2017,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.

Four component of the indicator worsened in May. Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose, indicating a softening of the labor market. There also was a decline in manufacturing hours, airline passengers and building permits for single-family homes.

“Economic data for manufacturing, construction and other key sectors of the Nebraska economy do not match the optimism of Nebraska businesses,” Thompson said.

Respondents to the May Survey of Nebraska Business were very optimistic about increasing 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.

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

Nebraska Bureau of Business Research Leading Economic Indicator – June 2017
[VIDEO]: Eric Thompson discusses May leading economic indicator report