Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rises again in April

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rises again in April

State economy expected to grow through October
Legs of four job applicants sitting in chairs, holding resumes

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator increased 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, rose 0.75%.

“The increase in the leading indicator suggests the economy will grow into the fourth quarter of 2023,” 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 components improved during April.

There was another drop in initial claims for unemployment insurance.

Nebraska Bureau of Business Research Leading Economic Indicator – May 2023
Video: Eric Thompson discusses the April leading economic indicator report

“The continued decline in initial claims shows that Nebraska businesses aim to retain their current workforce despite uncertainty in the national economy,” Thompson said.

Business expectations were positive, and airline passenger counts rose in Nebraska during April.

“Respondents to the April survey reported plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months,” Thompson said. “Rising airline passenger counts show that both businesses and households have confidence in the future strength of the economy.”

Thompson said there was also a drop in the value of the U.S. dollar in April, which benefits manufacturing, agricultural and other Nebraska businesses competing in international markets.

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

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