November 2013: Business Indicators

Read Nevada business indicators: November 2013. Includes status of U.S. Nevada, Las Vegas, and Reno economies.Revised estimates for second quarter 2013 show U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, an improvement over the 1.7 percent growth first reported. Federal government spending made negative contributions. Personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, business fixed investment, residential investment, and state and local government spending all made positive contributions. Net exports had no effect on second quarter growth. U.S. nonfarm employment experienced moderate gains for August, adding 169,000 jobs over July. The unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent. Housing starts were up substantially year-over-year, and housing prices continued to rise. Auto/truck sales and retail sales were also up year-over-year. Both consumer confidence and consumer sentiment fell for the most recent data. The Kansas City Financial Stress Index remained near its long-run average in September, which suggests no financial headwinds; and the Federal Reserve System’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey indicates that credit may finally be loosening. Nonetheless, commercial paper outstanding is not yet showing much growth.

The Nevada economy evidenced mixed signals for the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment increased by 11,200 (1.0 percent) jobs from July to August, and it was up 2.2 percent year-over-year. The Nevada unemployment rate remained at 9.5 percent. Taxable sales continued to show growth, up 6.2 percent from last year. Total air passengers were down 0.5 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue was down 8.0 percent from July 2012.

For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from July to August by 9,400 jobs and was up 2.7 percent year-over-year. The Las Vegas unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent to 9.4 percent, the result of a shrinking labor force. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were down 0.2 percent from a year earlier. July visitor volume was up 0.5 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 9.7 percent lower in July than a year earlier, mostly the result of reduced table game play. Clark County’s taxable sales for July were 5.0 percent above those from a year earlier. Residential construction permits increased from July to August. Commercial construction permits remained at a low level.

The most recent data show mixed signals for Washoe County as well. Seasonally adjusted, Reno-Sparks’ employment increased by 1,100 (0.6 percent) jobs from July to August. Total employment is down from a year ago, by 0.1 percent. The seasonally adjusted Reno-Sparks’ unemployment rate fell from 9.5 percent to 9.3 percent. Compared to a year earlier, July visitor volume was up 3.8 percent. Total air passengers were down 4.0 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenues for July were up 3.4 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction permits rose in August, while commercial construction permits remained low.

Ryan T. Kennelly, Economic Analyst
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research

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