The latest leading economic indicator compiled by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has risen for the fifth time in the last six months.
Bureau Director Eric Thompson says the indicator, along with a 2.6% unemployment rate, bodes well for the last six months of 2015.
“This is the fifth improvement in the last six months; very consistent improvement,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN, “The indicator is supposed to predict what’s going to happen six months down the road and I think what this suggests is the second half of 2015 we’re going to have very strong growth here in Nebraska.”
Strong business expectations and a decline in the value of the dollar are the leading factors behind the rise in the economic indicator.
Business owners responding to the bureau’s survey indicate they want to add employees in the coming months.
The decline in the dollar actually helps the economy, but making American exports cheaper to foreign countries. According to Thompson, a jump in the value of the dollar last year and the first part of this year hampered exports.
Other components of the indicator declined in May: home building permits, airline passenger counts, and manufacturing hours.
Thompson sees an economy gaining steam.
“The Nebraska economy has been a bit slow the first half of the year,” Thompson says. “It sounds like the second half of the year we’ll make up for that and we’ll have a good year overall.”
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.