Oct. Leading Indicator, Trends say Nebraska Economy to Stagnate in Early 2023

Oct. Leading Indicator, Trends say Nebraska Economy to Stagnate in Early 2023
November 30th, 2022 | UNL Bureau of Business Research

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator fell again in October, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The indicator, designed to predict economic activity six months into the future, dropped 0.12%.

“The leading indicator has dropped in four of the past six months, suggesting that there will be no growth in the Nebraska economy in early 2023,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research, department chair 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.

Four components of the leading indicator worsened during October. Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose in a sign of softening in the Nebraska labor market. The value of the U.S. dollar also rose.

“A higher value for the U.S. dollar can make it more difficult for Nebraska businesses to match the prices of international competitors,” Thompson said.

Building permits for single-family homes dropped in October on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“Higher interest rates will continue to impact activity among home builders,” Thompson said.

Airline passenger counts were the final declining component. Airline passenger counts serve as a broad-based economic indicator, reflecting both consumer and business confidence.

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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