Nebraska's Economy Expecting Moderate Growth Over Next Few Years


State forecasters say Nebraska's economy is expected to grow at a moderate pace over the next few years, but not quite as quickly as the national economy.

"As the agriculture sector normalizes after severalyears of high commodity prices, the Nebraska economy lacks a spark to match thegrowth of a recovering U.S. economy," explained Eric Thomson, associate professor of economics at the Universityof Nebraska-Lincoln.

In its latest report, the Nebraska Business Forecast Councilsays Nebraskans will see accelerating growth in nonfarm income this year, but the farm sector continues to come down from a record-breaking 2011 -- whenit hit $7.5 billion.

Farm income is expected to stabilize at about $5.1 billionper year in 2014, a decline of about 7.3 percent from the previous year.

Additionally, job growth in Nebraska is expected to increase just over 1 percent in 2014, a reduction from previous projections.

Nonfarm income is expected to grow at a rate of 4.1 percent, up from 2013's rate of growth of 3.3 percent. Over the next three years, Nebraska nonfarm income is projected to grow faster than the rate of inflation.

On the other side, farm income dropped in Nebraska as corn prices fell from $6 per bushel in 2012 to less than $5 in 2013. Similar results are predicted for 2014.