Nebraska Economy Bounces Back After Two Down Months

The leading economic indicators over the last 18 months. (Courtesy Creighton University)
November 1, 2019 - 2:38pm

Nebraska and the Midwest’s economy climbed in October in an economic index after two months of showing a slower rate of growth. 

The Mid-America Index, which covers nine Midwestern states, increased to over 52.6 from 49.1 in September, showing positive growth.

The flood rebuilding process and farm support payments boosted the Nebraska economy, Ernie Goss, index creator, said. However, Goss said the lack of U.S. trade agreements hurts the state.

“The USMCA, the trade agreement, is stuck in Congress right now and that’s very important to Nebraska. Very important to this part of the country because we depend heavily on agriculture and this (USMCA) is heavily oriented toward agriculture.”

The impeachment inquiry has slowed trade negotiations on USMCA, the trade pact meant to replace NAFTA, the Creighton economics professor said. 

The Fed cut interest rates for a third time in three months Thursday and Goss doesn't believe lowering interest rates will further stimulate the economy. He also said supply mangers reported they struggle to find qualified workers in the latest Mid-America Index, as the unemployment rate sits at 3.7%.

Editor's Note:  The opening sentence in this story was changed to more accurately describe the growth rate in the last two months. 



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