Predictions for economic growth in Nebraska have been one step forward, one step back this year, with the latest monthly indicator of future growth showing a decline.
Taken with June's indication of growth ahead, a July decline suggests modest growth in the state's economy through the end of this year and into the start of 2014.
“Each time the Nebraska leading indicator signals strong growth, the signal is weak in the month that follows,” said Eric Thompson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist and director of the Bureau of Business research. “We continue to wait for signs of sustainable, robust growth.”
None of the six components of the indicator improved in July, Thompson said. Building permits were flat and the other components worsened. Those include airline passenger counts, manufacturing hours, business expectations and the dollar exchange rate. Initial unemployment insurance claims increased significantly, Thompson said.
Businesses responding to the bureau's monthly Survey of Nebraska Business projected a slight decline in sales and employment over the next six months, he said.
A separate indicator measuring the current size of the state economy improved in July, with an increase in electricity sales overriding decreases in private wages, agricultural prices and businesses' reports of a decline in sales activity.