Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose for the 5th consecutive month in August, increasing by 0.31 percent.
The increase implies that the Nebraska economy will expand through the first quarter of 2016.
“The August increase resulted from positive business expectations and strong labor market conditions,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“Respondents to the August Survey of Nebraska Business were positive about growth in sales and employment at their businesses over the next six months.” There also was a sharp drop in initial claims for unemployment insurance in Nebraska during August, indicating strength in the labor market.
Among other components of the leading indicator, there was a sharp increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during August. “Ongoing increases in the value of the dollar are harming growth in agriculture and manufacturing businesses,” said Thompson. Manufacturing hours also fell modestly in Nebraska during August. Further, there was a decline in building permits for single-family homes and a modest drop in passenger enplanements.