A leading economic indicator forecasts moderate growth for the state economy in the middle of this year.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research Director Eric Thompson says one sector leads the growth in the state economy.
“There was a strong improvement in single-family housing building permits during January, particularly on a seasonally adjusted basis,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “So, we continue to see evidence of solid growth in the housing sector and that should benefit a large part of the economy.”
The Leading Economic Indicator for Nebraska tracks economic growth in the state. It is produced by the Department of Economics and Bureau of Business Research at UNL’s College of Business Administration.
The indicator is a composite of six components: single-family building permits, airline passenger counts, unemployment claims, manufacturing hours, the value of the dollar, and business expectations gathered from the Survey of Nebraska Business.
The survey indicates that even though Nebraska has enjoyed solid economic growth at the beginning of this year, executives and business owners remain pessimistic about the future.
“But, we’re still finding that business owners, the business community, is still a little bit negative,” according to Thompson. “It is possible to have decent growth when business expectations are negative, but it’s certainly a concern we want to keep tracking.”
Thompson says the bureau hopes to see business expectations improve and become more consistent with the positive economic signs the indicator has detected.
The Leading Economic Indicator for Nebraska indicates the state is experiencing solid growth at present. It expects that to settle into moderate growth by the middle of the year.
A report issued on February 8th by the Nebraska Business Forecast Council also predicted moderate employment and income growth in Nebraska during 2013. That report is available at bbr.unl.ed.
The full Nebraska Monthly Economic Indicators report and a Technical Report describing the latest indicators are available at the UNL College of Business Administration website, cba.unl.edu.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.