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UNL economic indicator rises in March

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Economic growth should continue in Nebraska at least through the summer, according to the most recent leading economic indicator report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The indicator, a composite of economic factors that predict economic growth six months into the future, rose by 0.88 percent in March. It was the sixth month in a row that the indicator has risen.

“Solid business confidence, rising manufacturing hours and growing airport passenger enplanements contributed to the rise in the leading indicator,” said economist Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the university.

Business expectations were especially strong, as respondents to the March Survey of Nebraska Business reported plans to expand sales and employment over the next six months.

Three components of the leading indicator declined during March. For the second consecutive month, there was a modest increase in the value of the U.S. dollar during March. A rising dollar creates competitive challenges for businesses which export. “Building permits for single family homes also declined during March on a seasonally adjusted basis,” Thompson said. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell slightly during March.

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 full report is available at the Bureau of Business Research website,



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Business 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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