Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose again during February, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
The leading indicator rose 1.05%, marking the fifth consecutive monthly increase.
“The consistent increase in the indicator suggests that economic growth will be solid in Nebraska through the summer of 2021,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.
Rising manufacturing activity and strong business expectations were the primary reasons for the improving indicator.
“There was a sharp increase in manufacturing hours worked in February, while respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to expand sales and employment,” Thomson said.
Airline passenger counts also rose modestly but remain far below pre-pandemic levels.
Among declining factors, there was an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar in February. A higher-valued dollar is challenging for agricultural producers, manufacturers and other Nebraska businesses that compete in international markets.