Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Department of Economics
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) 1 fell by 0.50% during December of 2016. The decline in the LEI-N, which predicts economic activity six months in the future, follows a drop of 0.39% during November. The two consecutive declines suggest that economic growth will be weak in Nebraska during the second quarter of 2017. Business expectations were strong in December but other components of the LEI-N were negative. In particular, there was a sharp jump in initial claims for unemployment insurance during the month, suggesting a softening in labor market conditions. There also was another increase in the value of the U.S. dollar. A higher dollar reduces the competitiveness of export-oriented businesses in agriculture and manufacturing. As noted earlier, business expectations were one bright spot. December respondents to the Survey of Nebraksa Business indicated plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months.