Nebraska’s leading economic indicator continues to rise

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator continues to rise

Frame of a house under construction

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in December, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The leading indicator, which is designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, increased by 0.73%.

“The indicator has improved steadily for three consecutive months, suggesting moderate economic growth in Nebraska during the second quarter of 2022,” 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.

Nebraska Bureau of Business Research Leading Economic Indicator – January 2022
Video: Eric Thompson discusses the December leading economic indicator report

Building permits rose for the third consecutive month.

“The increase in permits shows that builders plan to expand activity to meet strong demand in 2022, even in an environment of rising interest rates,” Thompson said. “The Nebraska economy also benefits from positive businesses expectations and a strong labor market.”

Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Businesses reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months. There also was another decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance in December.

Read the full report and a technical report describing the indicators.

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