Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, February 15, 2013
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) rose by 0.36% during January 2013. The increase in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, suggests moderate economic growth in Nebraska in the summer of 2013. Looking at individual components of the LEI-N, four improved in January. There was strong growth in single-family building permits during January, reflecting significant improvement in the outlook for the housing sector over the last year. There also was modest improvement in airline passengers counts, a drop in initial claims for unemployment insurance, and a drop the value of the U.S. dollar during January. A drop in initial claims portends improvement in the labor market while a drop in the value of the dollar should lead to improved export activity. Among other components, there was a modest decline in manufacturing hours. Further, respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business reported negative expectations for business sales and employment over the next six months. Business expectations have been negative for the past five months. Business expectations must improve in order to see strong growth in the Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska.