Indicator: Economic growth to slow during fourth quarter

Indicator: Economic growth to slow during fourth quarter

Eric Thompson (second from right), associate professor of economics, works with student research assistants in the College of Business Administration’s Bureau of Business Research. The bureau is designed to assist with Nebraska’s economic development efforts.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Bureau of Business Research director Eric Thompson works with students.

A rising U.S. dollar will slow economic growth in Nebraska during the fourth quarter of 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, rose by just 0.26 percent during May of 2018.

“While the leading indicator has risen every month during 2018, the pace of monthly increases is declining,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university. “The Nebraska economy will continue to expand, but at a slower pace.”

A rising U.S. dollar is the primary factor limiting growth in the leading indicator, he said.

“There was a sharp increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during May, which adds to the pressure on businesses which export,” Thompson said. Building permits for single-family homes also declined modestly in May.

Business confidence was the main reason that the leading indicator rose. Respondents to the May Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase both sales and employment at their businesses over the next six months. In addition, manufacturing hours and airline passenger enplanements increased during May while initial claims for unemployment insurance declined.

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.