Nebraska’s economy seems to be losing steam.
Bureau of Business Research Director Eric Thompson with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says the latest leading economic indicators survey foresees a state economy losing some of its momentum.
“I think if you look at the last three months together what it suggests is that we should have a very strong economy in the summer and fall of this year, but it could be that when we get towards the end of the year the pace of economic growth will slow again,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Thompson says the survey shows a decrease in manufacturing hours and an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance. Thompson adds an increase in the value of the dollar has had an adverse effect on Nebraska businesses which rely on exports, especially agriculture.
There are areas of growth. The survey disclosed a modest increase in building permits for homes and strong business expectations. Many business executives remain optimistic about the Nebraska economy over the next six months.
But, Thompson says the strong growth seen so far this year is beginning to slow.
“Generally speaking, particularly if you take this three-month perspective, the leading indicators have been up, but what we’re finding this month is that they don’t seem to be rising steadily month after month,” according to Thompson. “They’ve now settled down. It may be that what we’ll have is just a little burst of growth later this year, rather than sustained, rapid growth in the state.”
The latest leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a composite of economic factors that predict growth six months into the future, decreased by 0.28% in May. The decline followed two sharp increases in March and April.
The Bureau of Business Research produces the monthly report, which can be accessed by clicking here.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.