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Nebraska economy expected to maintain moderate growth

December 25, 2018

LINCOLN - A leading economic indicator watched by University of Nebraska economists suggests the Nebraska economy will continue to grow at a steady rate through at least the first of next year.

Bureau of Business Research Director Eric Thompson with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says business confidence remains strong in Nebraska and there has been a drop in claims for unemployment.

“I know there has been some worries about the economy, falling stock prices and so forth. Obviously, Nebraska has been affected by some of the trade disputes, but overall, the positive moves for the economy outweigh some of those concerns and we have a leading indicator that keeps rising at a moderate rate,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network.

The leading economic indicator, released each month by the Bureau of Business Research, points to the state maintaining moderator growth over the next six months.

There are some areas of concern, according to Thompson, in particular a drop in single-family housing permits.

“So, across the country and there’s some evidence here in Nebraska as well, the new home construction sector is weakening,” according to Thompson.

A strong U.S. dollar which seems to keep gaining strength raises the cost of U.S. goods being exported to other countries, which has hurt agriculture and manufacturing. Thompson says trade disputes haven’t helped either, but he adds that it appears the United States is intent on resolving those disputes, lessening their impact on the economy.

Agriculture has yet to rebound and Thompson says the Nebraska economy will not be able to gain real strength until that takes place.

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