Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, June 15, 2012
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) declined at a moderate 0.52% rate during May 2012. The decline in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, is the second in three months, signaling weakness in the Nebraska economy during the fall of 2012. In particular, while the Nebraska economy is expected to grow solidly this summer, growth will slow significantly in the fall. The primary reason for the decline in the LEI-N was a rapid increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during May. The rising U.S. dollar will limit export activity by Nebraska farms and factories. Negative business expectations and rising initial unemployment claims also suggest a stagnant Nebraska economy in the fall. Other indicators offered a more positive outlook, however. Manufacturing hours continued to expand in May. Building permits and airline passenger counts also improved during the month.