HomeBudget & Tax NewsUniversity of Nebraska Report: State Economy to Continue to Expand Over the...

University of Nebraska Report: State Economy to Continue to Expand Over the Next 6 Months

By David Beasley

Nebraska’s economy is showing signs of recovery, according to a new report by the University of Nebraska/Lincoln’s Bureau of Business Research.

Leading economic indicators, such as building permits, unemployment claims and manufacturing hours, increased 1.83 percent during the month of October, the report says.

Nebraska’s economy has recovered about 75 to 80 percent of the employment losses it incurred since April from the COVID-19 slowdown, Eric Thompson, a professor of economics at the university and director of its Bureau of Business Research, told The Center Square.

According to Thompson, next year should bring Nebraska’s economy back to some degree of normalcy. Thompson says the state should have total recovery from the COVID-19 losses by the middle of 2021.

“Building permits for single-family homes and airline passenger enplanements also grew modestly during October,” the university report stated. “The rising indicator confirms that the Nebraska economy should continue to expand over the next six months.”

That does not account for the normal growth the state would have experienced if there had been no pandemic.

“We probably would have grown 1-2% during that time period” without a pandemic, Thompson said.

Another round of federal stimulus funding could help, as long as it is targeted to people who are really hurting from the pandemic, Thompson added.

“It’s great to send $1,200 to everyone, but some people haven’t lost their jobs,” Thompson said. “Why do they need $1,200?

“That doesn’t mean that the economy won’t change,” Thompson said. “Usually when there’s a recession it takes four or five years to have a 100% catchup to the trend line. I think we will be back to the pre-pandemic employment in 2021, but actually getting back to the trend line will take a few years more.”

Having an effective COVID-19 vaccine will boost confidence in the business sector by reducing uncertainty, Thompson explained.

“You won’t have to worry about a fourth wave or fifth wave, all those things,” Thompson said.

The university report noted that a decline in the U.S. dollar was also a contributing factor in helping Nebraska during the month of October, in turn resulting in boosting exports.


Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.


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