Nebraska’s leading economic indicator fell for the first time in six months in September.
The decline, of 0.13 percent, implies that the Nebraska economy will expand at only a modest pace during the first quarter of 2016.
“The September decline resulted from a drop in manufacturing hours and an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“The rise in the value of the U.S. dollar in recent months has created a challenging environment for Nebraska export businesses, especially in agriculture and manufacturing,” he said. Initial claims for unemployment insurance also rose in Nebraska during September.
Among other components of the leading indicator, there was an increase in airline passenger counts and building permits for single-family homes during September. Business expectations for employment growth also were positive, according to the September Survey of Nebraska Business.
“Business expectations for sales, however, were not sufficiently strong to yield an overall positive value for the Nebraska leading indicator,” Thompson said.
Faculty and students in the Economics Department and the Bureau of Business Research in UNL’s College of Business Administration produce the leading economic indicator report monthly.
The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the UNL Bureau of Business Research website.