Nebraska's economic growth prospects improve
The Nebraska economy should grow solidly this summer, according to the latest leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict growth six months into the future, increased by 0.91 percent in February.
"The leading indicator signals stronger growth in the Nebraska economy," said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at UNL.
Five of six components improved during February. There was an increase in building permits for single-family homes and further declines in initial claims for unemployment insurance. The value of the U.S. dollar also took a favorable turn during February, declining for the first time in several months.
"A declining U.S. dollar provides some relief to export-oriented businesses in manufacturing and agriculture," Thompson said.
Business expectations also were positive. Respondents to the February Survey of Nebraska Business predicted strong employment growth at their businesses over the next six months.
Manufacturing hours were the economic indicator's sole component to decline during February.
The leading economic indicator report is produced monthly by faculty and students in the Economics Department and the Bureau of Business Research in UNL's College of Business Administration.
The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the UNL Bureau of Business Research website.