January 2014: Business Indicators

Read Nevada business indicators: January 2014. Includes status of U.S. Nevada, Las Vegas, and Reno economies.The “second” estimate for third quarter 2013 shows U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 3.6 percent, an improvement over the 2.8 percent growth initially reported. Most of the revision was due to an acceleration of private inventory investment. Personal consumption expenditures, business fixed investment, residential investment, net exports and state and local government spending also made positive contributions. 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. Consumer confidence fell, while consumer sentiment rose for the most recent data.

The Nevada economy evidenced mostly positive signals with the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment increased by 7,400 (0.6 percent) jobs from September to October, and it was up 1.8 percent year-over-year. Taxable sales continued to show strong growth, up 9.0 percent from last year. Total air passengers were up 1.0 percent over the same period. Gaming revenue also experienced gains for the month, up 7.4 percent from September 2012.

For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from September to October by 2,200 jobs and was up 2.1 percent year-over-year. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 1.2 percent from a year earlier. September visitor volume was down 1.6 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 8.7 percent higher in September than a year earlier. Clark County’s taxable sales for September were 10.5 percent above those from a year earlier. Residential construction permits increased from September to October. Commercial construction permits remained at a low level.

The most recent data show mixed signals for Washoe County. Seasonally adjusted, Reno-Sparks’ employment increased by 2,000 (1.0 percent) jobs from September to October. The seasonally adjusted Reno-Sparks’ unemployment rate remained constant at 9.2 percent. Compared to a year earlier, September visitor volume was down 4.1 percent. Total air passengers were down 2.3 percent over the same period. Gaming revenues for September were down 3.8 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction permits fell in September, while commercial construction permits remained low.

The U.S. economy experienced a pickup in growth for third quarter 2013. A weak national economy is affecting Nevada in the form of slowing growth in tourism. Despite the slowing tourism, taxable sales continue to make gains at the state level. Nevada’s employment is also showing relatively stable year-over-year gains.

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

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