Date of this Version
Business in Nebraska vol. 56, no. 658
This issue of Business in Nebraska presents a final forecast for the Nebraska economy in 2001 , the revised forecast for 2002, and the preliminary forecast for 2003. The November/December issue will include the year-end summary for 2001.
The national economy continues to give off mixed signals. Consumer confidence has spiraled down after having soared in mid-2000. The nation's manufacturing sector has been in a recession for the last several months. Yet, the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 1.3 percent at an annual rate of gain in first quarter 2001. Strength reportedly is coming from consumers. Further, housing starts remain healthy-1.6 million. Light vehicle sales may have bottomed out at the end of last year. The question at hand is whether the nation is poised for a downturn, or will return to moderate rates of growth with low inflation and completely skip an official recession. Leading forecast firms state the odds of a national recession at about 40 percent, while the odds of continued growth are about half. With all this uncertainty, it is difficult to forecast with conviction.