Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in February, 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 by a rapid 2.41%.
“The February value for the indicator suggests that the Nebraska economy had strong momentum at the beginning of the year,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research and K.H. Nelson Professor of Economics. “The rate of growth, however, will moderate in the coming months as energy prices and interest rates increase.”
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 due to increased positive business expectations. Respondents to the February Survey of Nebraska Businesses reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months. Further, a sharp decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance was noted.
In addition, airline passenger counts, manufacturing hours worked and building permits for single-family homes all improved in February.
“A rapid decline in COVID-19 cases during February led to a recovery of airline activity, as well as a general rebound in economic activity,” Thompson said.