Date of this Version
Summary: The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) rose by 0.87% during December 2014. The increase in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, suggests that economic growth will accelerate in mid-2015. Five of six components of the leading economic indicator rose during December. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business were particularly optimistic. Respondents predicted a strong increase in sales and employment over the next six months. There also was modest growth in airline passenger counts and building permits, and a slight increase in manufacturing hours. Finally, there was a decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance, which suggests strength in the labor market. The only negative component of the LEI-N was the exchange rate. There was a significant increase in the value of the U.S. Dollar, which reduces the competitiveness of Nebraska export businesses.