Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, April 20, 2012
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) fell for the first time in four months in March 2012, posting a 0.32% decline. The decline in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, suggests that the Nebraska economy will grow slowly during the fall of 2012. A rising U.S. dollar, which would reduce exports, was one primary reason for the decline in the LEI-N. The other primary factor was a sharp drop in airline passengers. A modest increase in building permits and growth in manufacturing hours each made a positive contribution to the LEI-N in March, as did business expectations for both sales and employment growth. Looking at earlier months, the LEI-N declined in October and November 2011 but rose from December through February 2012, suggesting a weak Nebraska economy next month but growth during the late spring and summer of 2012.