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Indicator Drops for the First Time in 2017

Indicator Drops for the First Time in 2017
Courtesy/Eric Thompson, associate professor of economics; director, Bureau of Business Research; University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, Neb. — Economic growth may slow in Nebraska in late 2017, according to the most recent leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, fell by 0.88 percent in April after rising rapidly in January, February and March.

“The decline in the indicator implies that Nebraska may lose economic momentum during the 4th quarter of 2017,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university. Four component of the indicator worsened during April. There was a decline in manufacturing hours, passenger enplanements and building permits for single-family homes. Initial claims for unemployment insurance also rose during the April, indicating a softening of the labor market.
“These declining components stood in contrast to business expectations, which remained strong,” said Thompson. Respondents to the April Survey of Nebraska Business were very optimistic about increasing sales and employment over the next six months. The leading economic indicator report is produced monthly by faculty and students in the Bureau of Business Research in Nebraska’s College of Business Administration.

The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the Bureau of Business Research website,

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