Economic factors followed closely by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska indicate a strong economic finish to the year in Nebraska, spilling into next year.
Bureau Director Eric Thompson says the latest monthly leading economic indicator, designed to predict economic activity six months in the future, is up again, after being up last month.
“The Leading Indicator is predicting that the Nebraska economy will continue to grow through the first month of 2018,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The leading economic indicator follows six factors to track economic growth. In July, four factors trended upward: manufacturing hours rose, the value of the dollar fell helping Nebraska exports, business expectations were up, and unemployment claims fell. Two factors showed declines: a drop in single-family building permits and a slight decline in airline passenger counts.
Thompson points to building permits in particular.
“One area where we did see a bit of a worsening during July was in building permits for single-family homes,” Thompson says. “So, on a seasonally adjusted basis, those did decline. But, many of the other indicators were either better or at least flat or close to flat during the month.”
The indicator rose by 0.56% in July after a strong June.
Optimism remains strong among businesses, with most reporting plans to expand employment and increase sales over the next six months.
The leading economic indicator report is produced monthly by faculty and students in the Bureau of Business Research in Nebraska’s College of Business.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.