UNL forecast: Nebraska economic growth may accelerate

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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:00 am

Economic growth in Nebraska should accelerate from weak to moderate in late 2013, according to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln forecast showing improvement in April across several areas of the economy.

But there will have to be continued improvement in the “leading economic indicator” to be sure, said economist Eric Thompson of the UNL College of Business Administration. The indicator has been up and down in recent months, showing only weak growth ahead.

In April, five of the six components improved. Single-family building permits and airline passenger counts grew, and business owners surveyed said they expect “solid” improvements in sales and employment over the next six months.

The value of the U.S. dollar fell in April after months of increase, a change that will support export activity, Thompson said. Unemployment insurance claims fell while manufacturing hours were neutral.

The university’s separate measure of the current size of the state economy continued to grow in April at its “anemic” rate, on the strength of electricity sales. The other components — private wages, agricultural commodities and business conditions — all declined.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1336, barbara.soderlin@owh.com

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