LINCOLN–(KFOR/News Release Apr. 26)–A report out Wednesday from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Bureau of Business Research shows Nebraska’s leading economic indicator increased by 1.24% in March.

The indicator is set up to predict economic activity six months into the future and consists of business expectations, building permits for single-family homes, airline passenger numbers, claims for unemployment insurance, the value of the U.S. dollar and manufacturing hours worked. Eric Thompson, who is the director of the Bureau of Business Research, says there was a drop in initial claims for unemployment insurance.

“The decrease in initial claims in Nebraska contrasts with rising claims nationwide and suggests that Nebraska businesses are more likely to retain their current workforce over the next six months,” Thompson said.

Business expectations were positive, and manufacturing hours worked also rose.

“Respondents to the March survey reported plans to increase both sales and employment over the next six months.” Thompson said. “A thriving agricultural economy and food processing sector supports growth in the Nebraska manufacturing industry.”

The full report and a technical report describing the indicators are available at the Bureau of Business Research website by clicking here.

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