Economists with the University of Nebraska expect moderate economic growth next year.
Bureau of Business Research Director Eric Thompson says a weak farm economy seems to be rebounding, at least somewhat.
“While our agricultural industry continues to be stressed by weak commodity prices, we do think that farm income in Nebraska has stabilized and will actually have modest growth over the next few years,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Businesses report in the bureau’s latest survey they remain optimistic about sales and employment over the next six months. Building permits for single-family homes rose in November.
Thompson remains concerned about the strong dollar, which increases the price of Nebraska goods being sold abroad, driving down demand.
Thompson says job growth in construction, health care, and agricultural processing offsets an overall weakness in agricultural production.
“So, it should be a period of good, solid, not rapid, but moderate economic growth,” according to Thompson.
Thompson says a shortage of workers is hampering the state economy.
The leading economic indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict growth six months into the future, rose slightly in November.
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Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.