Forecast shows ag economy stabilizing, overall state economy improving

Economic growth is expected to improve for Nebraska at the end of this year, according to the latest leading economic indicator.

Eric Thompson, director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Bureau of Business Research, says the forecast growth is broad-based.

“We saw growth in building permits for single-family homes, we saw improvement in business expectations in our monthly business survey,” Thompson says. “We saw an increase in airplane enplanements, passenger enplanements, we saw an improvement in manufacturing hours and we also saw an decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance, which is a good sign for the labor market.”

Thompson says this latest strong increase erases doubts about growth after the previous two months of declines in UNL’s Leading Economic Indicator Survey.

He says the monthly report shows the ag economy has been weaker for a number of years, which has limited Nebraska’s growth.

“The ag economy appears to be stabilizing with prices stabilizing, unfortunately, at lower levels but at least stabilizing,” Thompson says. “That allows other segments of the economy to grow.”

Thompson points to survey respondents’ plans to expand employment and sales over the next six months.

Thanks to Jane Monnich, KLIN, Lincoln

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