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The leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was flat in July, which suggests economic growth will slow in Nebraska later this year.

The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, rose just 0.05 percent last month.

“Economic growth is strong in Nebraska at the moment,” economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university, said in a news release. “But the flat leading indicator suggests that economic growth will slow significantly in late 2018 and early 2019.”

Thompson said positive business expectations, rising manufacturing activity and an increase in airline passengers in July all point to continued economic growth. But he said other factors, including more initial unemployment claims and a drop in single-family building permits, suggest that economic growth will slow.

In addition, for the sixth consecutive month, there was an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during July, which "creates competitive challenges for Nebraska businesses which export,” Thompson said in the news release.

The leading economic indicator report is produced monthly by faculty and students in the Bureau of Business Research in Nebraska’s College of Business.

The report is available at the Bureau of Business Research website, bbr.unl.edu.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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