Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, January 17, 2014
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) increased by 0.78% during December 2013. The increase in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, follows a decline in November. Taken together, recent results for the LEI-N suggest that the Nebraska economy will grow only modestly in the second quarter of 2014, but that the rate of growth may begin to improve in June, as summer begins. During December, four components of the leading economic indicator expanded and two declined. Among expanding components, there was a solid increse in single-family building permits, consistent with the continued recovery of the housing industry in Nebraska. There also were modest increases in both airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours. Further, there was a modest improvement in business expectations. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business predicted an increase in employment at their business over the next six month. Among declining components, initial unemployment claims rose in December on a seasonally-adjusted basis. There also was an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar, a negative for the state’s exporters.