After a backslide in June, Nebraska’s economy brightened during July, according to the monthly Creighton University survey of supply managers and business leaders statewide. Creighton economist Ernie Goss says Nebraska’s economy will continue to expand over the next three to six months but at a less than healthy pace.
“The numbers for Nebraska are a bit better than some of the other states,” Goss says. “I’m expecting growth to move almost sideways but a bit positive in the months ahead. Job growth will be very weak for Nebraska, although I do expect it to be positive for the third quarter of this year.” Goss says job gains for Nebraska’s larger metro areas are being offset by job losses in the rural areas.
While gasoline prices have fallen 20 to 40-cents a gallon in recent weeks, he says the state’s transportation industry still isn’t catching much of a break. Goss says: “We’re going to have to see that trend continue with lower oil prices, lower fuel prices, to really have some positive impacts. Oil prices still remain at a very high level compared to even recent history. We need to see those move even lower to have some real positive impacts on the Nebraska economy, and for that matter, the regional economy.”
He adds, rapidly increasing commodity prices have hurt Nebraska’s large food-processing sector.