Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, January 18, 2013
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) rose modestly, by 0.11%, during December 2012. The increase in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, suggests modest economic growth in Nebraska in mid-2013. Looking at individual components of the LEI-N, two components improved in December. The value of the U.S.dollar fell during December, which may increase export activity over the next six months. There also was a decline in initial unemployment claims during the month that signals an improving labor market. Among other components, there was a modest decline in manufacturing hours, airline passenger counts, and building permits during December. Further, there was a significant decline in business expectations. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business reported negative expectations for business sales and employment over the next six months. These negative expectations may have reflected concerns regarding stalled fiscal cliff negotiations during much of December. It will be interesting to monitor whether business expectations improve during January.