Nebraska will experience slow economic growth in early 2017, according to the latest leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, fell by 0.32 percent in August.
“The drop in this month’s leading indicator negates a similar increase during July,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Taken together, the leading indicator values for the last two months suggest slow economic growth in Nebraska at the beginning of 2017.”
Manufacturing activity and jobless claims were areas of weakness in August. “There was an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance and a drop in manufacturing hours during the month,” Thompson noted.
However, there also were some positive findings in the August data. Business expectations were positive, with businesses expecting to increase both sales and employment over the next 6 months. There also was a drop in the value of the U.S. dollar, which reduces competitive pressure on Nebraska’s export-oriented businesses.