Nebraska’s leading economic indicator fell in August, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The indicator, designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, declined 0.93%.
“The decrease in the leading indicator suggests economic growth will slow in Nebraska during the first quarter of 2024,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research, department chair and K.H. Nelson College 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. Four of six components worsened in August.
Manufacturing hours and airline passenger counts dropped.
“These declines suggest weakening demand for business travel and manufactured goods,” Thompson said.
There also were signs of softening in Nebraska’s labor market as initial claims for unemployment insurance rose in the state.
In addition, the value of the U.S. dollar rose in August. A higher value for the U.S. dollar creates challenges for businesses in agriculture and manufacturing, which compete in international markets, Thompson said.