Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, April 19, 2013
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) declined by 0.39% during March 2013. The decrease in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, suggests weak economic growth in Nebraska during the summer of 2013. Looking at individual components of the LEI-N, five of the six components of the LEI-N declined during March. Single-family building permits dropped, as did airline passengers counts. There was an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance, and an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during March. The increase in the value of the dollar would tend to limit export activity in the coming months. Manufacturing hours also declined in March, as the manufacturing economy weakened throughout the Great Plains. Among these widespread declines, however, there was strong growth in business expectations during March. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business reported expectations for a solid increase in business sales and employment over the next six month. This improvement in business expectations helped limit the drop in the Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska.