Nebraska economic indicator nudges higher

· 2 min read

Nebraska economic indicator nudges higher

 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 Communications

An increase in Nebraska’s leading economic indicator continues to suggest a strong Nebraska economy during the second half of 2015.

The indicator has risen five of the last six months.

Strong business expectations and a decline in the value of the U.S. dollar contributed to strength in the indicator, said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“The drop in the value of the U.S. dollar in May benefits Nebraska’s export businesses,” he said.

Exports had been hampered when the dollar’s value jumped in late 2014 and early 2015.

Thompson also cited the “very optimistic” responses to the May Survey of Nebraska Business. Respondents to the monthly survey were particularly positive about the prospects for employment growth at their businesses over the next six months.

Other components of the indicator – home building permits, airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours – declined during May. Initial unemployment claims ticked upward, which also detracted from the indicator’s growth.

The leading economic indicator report, which predicts economic growth six months into the future, is produced monthly by faculty and students in the economics department and the Bureau of Business Research in UNL’s College of Business Administration.

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

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