December indicators predict stronger economy by mid-year

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December indicators predict stronger economy by mid-year

Summer may bring stronger economic growth to Nebraska, according to the latest report on the state’s Leading Economic Indicator.

The indicator increased by 0.78 percent in December, reversing the decline reported in November. The indicator has increased in four of the past five months. December’s report was its strongest showing since August.

“The increase in the value of the Leading Economic Indicator in December suggests that economic growth in Nebraska may accelerate during the summer of 2014,” said UNL economist Eric Thompson, director of UNL’s Bureau of Business Research.

“However, economic growth in the first half of 2014 is expected to be modest.”

Produced by faculty and students in UNL’s Department of Economics, the Leading Economic Indicator is a composite of six components that predict future economic growth – single-family building permits, airline passenger counts, initial unemployment claims, manufacturing hours, the value of the U.S. dollar and business expectations as reported in the Survey of Nebraska Business.

Single-family building permits rose solidly in December, while airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours showed modest growth. Business expectations also were positive, with respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business reporting that they expected to hire more people during the next six months.

However, initial employment claims rose modestly and the U.S. dollar rose in value, depressing export activity.

The full Nebraska Monthly Economic Indicators report, plus a Technical Report describing the indicators are available at the UNL College of Business Administration website,

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