Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rises 0.3%

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rises 0.3%

Slow growth expected in first half of 2024
The frame of a house against a blue sky with wispy clouds

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in October, 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 0.3%.

“The modest increase in the leading indicator suggests that economic growth will continue through the first half of 2024, but that growth will be slow,” 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 the 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 – November 2023
Video: Eric Thompson discusses the October leading economic indicator report

Two components improved significantly during October. Building permits for single-family homes increased during the month.

“The October increase, however, may reflect a rebound from low levels rather than the beginning of sustained growth,” Thompson said.

The number of building permits dropped in three of the previous four months.

Business expectations also were positive in Nebraska during October. Businesses reported plans to increase employment over the next six months, Thompson said.

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

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