Nebraska’s Leading Economic Indicator rose by 0.08% in March. This is the fourth consecutive monthly increase and suggests that Nebraska will benefit from consistent economic growth throughout 2015.
“Consistent improvement in the Leading Indicator in early 2015 portends consistent growth in the Nebraska economy in the second half of the year,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“However, growth will be solid rather than rapid since segments of the Nebraska economy will be challenged in 2015,” according to Thompson. “An elevated value for the U.S. dollar will pressure crop prices and limit economic growth in crop-producing regions of Nebraska.”
Nebraska’s manufacturing sector, which has close ties to agriculture, also will be under pressure. Manufacturing hours, another component of the Leading Economic Indicator, fell in Nebraska during March.
By contrast, three components of the indicator improved during March. Building permits for single-family homes increased, even after adjusting for seasonal factors. There also were strong business expectations during the month. Respondents to the March Survey of Nebraska Business expected solid improvement in their sales over the next six months and strong growth in employment.
April Leading Economic Indicator - Nebraska Report