Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in April, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The indicator, designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, increased 1.85%.
“The April increase is the third consecutive improvement, suggesting that the Nebraska economy will continue to expand through the fourth quarter of 2022,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research and K.H. Nelson Professor of Economics. “The resilience of the Nebraska economy is notable given concerns about inflation and rising interest rates.”
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 three primary reasons, including a sharp increase in airline passenger counts during April.
“Airline activity is recovering toward pre-pandemic levels,” Thompson said.
There also was a decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance.
“Very low unemployment rates imply opportunities for Nebraska workers but are challenging for the business community,” Thompson said.
Many respondents to the April Survey of Nebraska Business reported that finding workers is the biggest challenge faced by their business. Yet survey respondents were confident about the future, reporting plans to expand both sales and employment over the next six months.