An indicator predicting Nebraska’s future economic health dropped slightly during October after three months of gains, but not enough to reverse the overall growth trend.
“We still have a strong outlook for the Nebraska economy over the next six months,” said Eric Thompson, a co-author of the report for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration.
He said the outlook assumes a “reasonable” resolution of the “fiscal cliff” scenario facing the federal budget.
Despite the 0.06 percent decline in the Leading Economic Indicator, the Nebraska economy is expected to expand slowly in November and December and grow at a moderate pace in the first half of 2013, the report said.
Three of the leading indicator’s six components — airline passengers, the dollar exchange rate and initial unemployment insurance claims — improved in October.
The other three declined: manufacturing hours, single-family home building permits and a survey of business expectations.
A separate indicator, tracking the size of Nebraska’s current economy, declined more quickly in October. The Coincident Economic Indicator fell 0.98 percent on declines in private wages, electricity sales and reports of declines in sales and employment activity. The decline was the biggest in six months but was anticipated by earlier indicators of future growth.
In the coincident indicator, “only one component, agricultural commodity prices, rose in October,” the report said. “This increase in prices will help mitigate the economic costs of the 2012 drought.”
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