Nebraska’s leading economic indicator sees modest decline

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Nebraska’s leading economic indicator sees modest decline

Construction site with frame of house

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator fell in December, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The indicator, designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, dropped 0.03%.

“The leading indicator has declined in most recent months, suggesting there will be limited growth in the Nebraska economy in the first half of 2023,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research, department chair and K.H. Nelson 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.

Three components worsened during December.

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

Airline passenger counts fell on a seasonally adjusted basis. These counts fall when businesses grow less optimistic and households become less confident about future income, Thompson said.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose.

“Increasing claims for unemployment insurance indicate a softening in the Nebraska labor market,” Thompson said.

Building permits for single-family homes also fell amid higher interest rates.

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

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