An indicator of future economic growth in Nebraska improved in June, suggesting moderate growth at the end of 2013. The main reason for the improvement was a sharp drop in initial unemployment claims, or those filed by people who lose their jobs.
“This is a positive economic signal, since business owners are more likely to hang on to their workers when they anticipate a future increase in demand,” said Eric Thompson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist and director of the Bureau of Business Research.
The number of building permits filed for single-family homes also improved in June.
But Thompson cautioned that other components of the indicator fell, including airline passenger counts and manufacturing hours. Exporters were hurt by a rise in the value of the U.S. dollar in June.
Business owners’ expectations were neutral; survey respondents were as likely to project a decrease in sales and employment as they were to project an increase.
“This, along with the weak increase in the indicator during May, suggests moderate rather than strong growth in the Nebraska economy at the end of 2013,” he said.