February signs point to steady economic growth

· 2 min read

February signs point to steady economic growth

UNL's Eric Thompson

Nebraska’s economy should see moderate growth through the summer before heating up later in the year, according to the latest Leading Economic Indicator report for the state.

Business expectations improved and unemployment claims dropped during February, contributing to 0.99 percent improvement in February’s report. Although the indicator has shown volatility during recent months, the outlook remains positive on balance, with gains outpacing declines since September.

“The Nebraska economy is expected to grow steadily in 2014, with the pace of growth accelerating later in the year,” said University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research.

The Leading Economic Indicator for Nebraska is produced each month by faculty and students in UNL’s Department of Economics and the Bureau of Business Research. Comprised of six components – single-family building permits, airline passenger counts, initial unemployment claims, manufacturing hours, the value of the U.S. dollar and business expectations as reported in the monthly Survey of Nebraska Business – the indicator is designed to predict economic growth six months into the future.

February saw solid improvement in both business expectations and a significant drop in initial unemployment claims, Thompson said.

“These results suggest improvement in both the business outlook and the labor market,” he said.

Building permits and the dollar exchange rate both declined slightly, while airline passengers and manufacturing hours showed a slight increase.

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.

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