UNL indicator up again this month

Nebraska’s leading economic indicator rose during May, according to the most recent report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The leading indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, increased by 0.63%. It was the eighth consecutive monthly increase.

Respondents to the May Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months.

Other components of the indicator were mixed during May. Airline passenger counts and building permits for single-family homes were up slightly during the month, while initial claims for unemployment insurance fell. In terms of negative components, there was an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during May, which creates challenges for Nebraska businesses that export. Manufacturing hours also are thought to have dropped during the month.

“Hard data about the economy present a less optimistic scenario than survey-based business expectations,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.

Nebraska wins eco-devo award

LINCOLN — Nebraska has won a national award for its efforts to attract new businesses and promote economic development.

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Tuesday that Nebraska has received the 2019 Silver Shovel Award from Area Development, a magazine aimed at corporate executives that focuses on the process of picking new sites for business development.

Publisher Dennis Shea says Nebraska has done an outstanding job in recruiting businesses and competes well with much larger states.

Nebraska was recognized in a category of states with less than 3 million people. The other two winners were Kansas and Rhode Island.

Six of the highest-ranked states overall won an award dubbed the 2019 Golden Shovel. Those were Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona, Alabama and Mississippi.

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