Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, August 16, 2013
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) fell by 1.05% during July 2013. The decline in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, reverses a strong increase in June, and signals that Nebraska will be unable to sustain rapid economic growth. Taken together, results for the past two months indicate that economic growth will be modest at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. Components of the leading indicator showed few signs of growth during July. In particular, five of the six components of the leading indicator fell during the month. No change was identified in single-family building permits. Both airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours declined slightly during July. Further, initial unemployment insurance claims rose during the month, a negative signal for the labor market. Business expectations also fell during July. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business predicted a slight decline in sales and employment at their business over the next six month. Finally, the value of the U.S. dollar rose again during July, continuing to pressure businesses that export, a significant concern in Nebraska with its large export industry.