The Nebraska economy should grow rapidly during the second half of 2016, according to the latest leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict growth six months into the future, increased by 1.92 percent in March.
“The rapid increase in the value of the leading indicator signals strong economic growth in Nebraska during the second half of 2016” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Most components of the leading indicator improved during March. Respondents to the March Survey of Nebraska Business predicted strong growth in both sales and employment at their businesses. There also was an increase in building permits for single-family homes and manufacturing hours during the month. Finally, for the second consecutive month, the value of the U.S. dollar declined in March.
“The combination of a declining U.S. dollar and strong business expectations suggests strength in both the industrial and service sectors of the state economy,” said Thompson.
On the negative side, there was a slight increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance during March.