Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Department of Economics
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) was flat in February 2015, rising by just 0.01% during the month. The LEI-N predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future. The flat LEI-N, when combined with solid monthly increases in December 2014 and January 2015, suggest that economic growth in Nebraska will be solid in mid-2015. Three of six components of the leading economic indicator rose during February. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business were optimistic. Respondents predicted a strong increase in employment over the next six months and an increase in sales. There also was a slight increase in building permits and a slight decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance during February, which suggests strength in the labor market. Among declining components, the most important factor was the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar. For the seventh consecutive month, there was a sharp increase in the value of the dollar, which is a significant negative for businesses which export. There also was a decline in airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours during February.