Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) declined by 0.07% during March 2014. The slight decline in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, followed a solid increase in February. Together, results for the two months are consistent with moderate growth in the Nebraska economy during the summer of 2014. Among the components of the leading economic indicator, there was an increase in initial unemployent claims, suggesting a weakening of labor market conditions. At the same time, there was solid improvement in business expectations. Specifically, respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business predicted an increase in sales and employment at their business over the next six month. Finally, there was little contribution from the remaining four indicator components. These were manufacturing hours, airlines passenger counts, single-family home building permits and the U.S. dollar exchange rate. The net effect was a small decline in the Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska during March.