UNL Economic Indicator Continues Pointing to Moderate Growth in Spring 2022

UNL Economic Indicator Continues Pointing to Moderate Growth in Spring 2022
November 24th, 2021 | Eric Thompson, UNL Bureau of Business Research

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose in October, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The indicator is designed to predict economic activity six months into the future.

The indicator increased 0.61%, a moderate pace of improvement.

“The rising indicator suggests Nebraska will enjoy moderate economic growth in the spring of 2022,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research and K.H. Nelson Professor of Economics.

The six components of Nebraska’s leading economic indicator are business expectations, building permits for single-family homes, airline passenger counts, initial claims for unemployment insurance, the value of the U.S. dollar and manufacturing hours worked.

Building permits for single-family homes rose in October.

“Given strong demand, developers expanded plans for homebuilding despite the limited availability of construction materials and workers,” Thompson said.

In addition, business expectations were positive. Respondents to the October Survey of Nebraska Businesses reported plans to increase sales and employment over the next six months.

There also were further signs of strength in the Nebraska labor market. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell in Nebraska during October.

“A rising dollar is one concern for Nebraska businesses,” Thompson said.

The value of the U.S. dollar rose during October as part of a recent upward trend. A rising dollar creates challenges for agricultural producers, manufacturers and other Nebraska businesses that compete in international markets.

The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the Bureau of Business Research website, https://bbr.unl.edu.

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