Economists with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln expect the state economy to keep growing at a moderate pace the next six months, with the strongest growth expected after the first of the year.
The UNL College of Business Administration’s Leading Economic Indicator dropped .06 in October, a slight decline that came after three months of growth. The decline is not enough to throw off predictions that Nebraska’s economy will continue to grow.
The director of the Bureau of Business Research, Eric Thompson, says the state economy can absorb a slight decline.
“Nebraska’s economy is in relatively good shape with low unemployment, relatively high shares of the population that is employed,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “For us, slow growth will help keep our economy going and should be sufficient.”
The Leading Economic Indicator for Nebraska is a composite of six components: single-family building permits, airline passenger counts, initial unemployment claims, manufacturing hours, the value of the U.S. dollar, and business expectations. The college surveys Nebraska businesses in computing the indicator.
Thompson says most of the components of the indicator remain strong.
“Rising manufacturing hours, positive business expectations and a decline in the initial unemployment claims; those are all positives, suggesting future growth,” Thompson says.
Still, the components of the indicator gave mixed results last month.
Thompson says a drop in building permits indicates a slowdown in construction and a slump in airline passenger counts indicates an overall softening of the economy.
To review the full Nebraska Monthly Economic Indicators report and a Technical Report describing the indicators are available at the UNL College of Business Administration website, cba.unl.edu.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.