Date of this Version
Prepared by the UNL College of Business Administration, Department of Economics
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) rose by 1.99% in April 2015, marking its fourth increase in the last five months. The sharp increase in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, portends strong economic growth in Nebraska in the second half of 2015. Business expectations are one reason for the positive outlook. Respondents to the monthly Survey of Nebraska Business were very optimistic about sales and employment over the next six months. The business outlook, in fact, was the strongest recorded in the monthly survey, which began in September 2011. A stabilizing U.S. dollar also contributed to the positive outlook. After 8 months of increase, the value of the U.S. dollar fell in April. The rising U.S. dollar had created a significant challenge for Nebraska exporters. Initial claims for unemployment insurance also fell sharply in April, suggesting a strengthening labor market. There was little change in other components of the LEI-N, including building permits for single-family homes, airline passengers counts or manufacturing hours.