Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose again in March, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The indicator, designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, expanded by 0.89%.
“The March rise in the indicator is the fifth increase in the last six months, suggesting solid economic growth in Nebraska over the next six months,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research and K.H. Nelson Professor of Economics.
The six components of Nebraska’s leading economic indicator are business expectations, building permits for single-family homes, airline passenger counts, initial claims for unemployment insurance, the value of the U.S. dollar and manufacturing hours worked.
The leading indicator improved for two primary reasons. First, there was another decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance during March, suggesting continued strength in the state labor market.
Second, businesses were confident. Respondents to the March Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months.
“Confident Nebraska businesses continue to expand employment, despite challenges in finding workers,” Thompson said.
One area of concern is building permits for single-family homes, which declined in March.
“Rising interest rates will reduce demand for housing in the coming months,” Thompson said.