Lincoln – In what could spell bad news for the Nebraska economy, the Leading Economic Indicator for Nebraska dropped in March, falling by 0.39 percent.
The state indicator is designed to predict economic growth six months in the future. The recent drop suggests weakness in the Nebraska economy during summer 2013.
The Leading Economic Indicator for Nebraska is calculated by faculty and students in the Department of Economics and Bureau of Business Research within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration.
It's made up of six components that predict future economic growth: single-family building permits; airline passenger counts; initial unemployment claims, manufacturing hours; the value of the U.S. dollar; and business expectations gathered from the Survey of Nebraska Business.
Five of the indicator's six components declined during March, and followed growth during February as well as at the end of 2012, according to UNL economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research.
"This uneven pattern of growth in the leading indicator is consistent with weak, but positive economic growth in the Nebraska economy over the next six months," Thompson said.
"There were also positive business expectations - respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business expected to expand both employment and sales," said Thompson.
The full Nebraska Monthly Economic Indicators report and a Technical Report describing the latest indicators are available at the UNL College of Business Administration website, http://www.cba.unl.edu.