Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, March 15, 2013
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) rose by 0.16% during Feburary 2013. The slight increase in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, suggests modest economic growth in Nebraska in the summer of 2013. Looking at individual components of the LEI-N, there was strong growth in business expectations during February. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business reported expectations for a solid increase in business sales and employment over the next six month. However, all other components of the LEI-N declined during February, albeit only slightly. Specifically, single-family building permits dropped modestly in February, after a strong increase in January. There also was a slight decline in airline passengers counts, an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance, and an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during February. The increase in the value of the dollar would tend to limit export activity in the coming months. Manufacturing hours were virtually unchanged between January and Feburary, with only a slight decline in hours worked. The slight drop in 5 components, combined with a strong increase in business expectations, yielded the 0.16% overall increase in the LEI-N.