Nebraska’s chief economic indicator, compiled in a monthly survey of supply managers and business leaders statewide, is showing a drop for May. Creighton economist Ernie Goss says it was only a slight faltering. Each month, the survey ranks the state’s economy on a scale of zero to 100 and Nebraska’s been steadily around 50, or growth neutral.Goss says Nebraska’s numbers have been teetering around growth neutral for several months and he expects that trend to continue, though he also predicts the growth will continue to be positive. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Nebraska is around three-95 a gallon, while diesel is around four-70 a gallon statewide. Goss says that’s damaging businesses and consumers.
He says Nebraska, like most states, is being hurt by the high energy prices, but there’s a boost from new export orders which is helping the overall state economy. He says durable-goods producers, especially those with strong ties to the farm economy, reported strong growth for May. Still, he says information firms like publishing companies saw pullbacks in business activity for May and more than offset strength in other areas.