Dr. Eric Thompson, associate professor of economics and director of the Bureau of Business Research at the UNL College of Business Administration, recently appeared on Lincoln’s KLIN radio Grow Lincoln program
to reiterate the current state of the Nebraska economy. Although Thompson did see disappointing signs in the Leading Economic Indicator (LEI) for Nebraska in the June report, he also sees reasons for optimism, particularly regarding the Lincoln economy.
One of the biggest negatives on the Nebraska economy was the increase in the value of the U.S. dollar.
“The U.S. dollar has really been climbing with some of the problems going on in the European economy,” Thompson said. “That’s going to hurt our exports – our farms and factories are going to be hurt by that.”
Of the six components that the LEI measures, three of them were positive and three were negative. One of the negative indicators came from the survey results conducted of Nebraska businesses. Interestingly, that ended up being a positive indicator for Lincoln.
“There was a negative business expectation for the first time in five months in May, although that did not include Lincoln,” Thompson explained. The business expectations state wide came in just under a flat growth level at 49, while Lincoln measured a positive score of 60 on the 100 point scale.
The third negative indicator, in addition to the rise in the U.S. dollar and the negative business survey results, was that initial unemployment claims rose during May. Thompson pointed out that the rise in unemployment claims was consistent with the national economy.
To hear all of Thompson’s Grow Lincoln interview listen to the KLIN podcast