The “third” estimate for fourth quarter 2013 shows U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent, higher than the 2.4 percent growth first reported in the “second” estimate. The revision consisted of a larger increase in personal consumption expenditures from third to fourth quarter 2013. Nonresidential fixed investment, net exports and state and local government spending also made positive contributions. Federal government spending and residential investment made negative contributions. U.S. nonfarm employment experienced gains in March, adding 192,000 jobs over February.
The Nevada economy evidenced mostly positive signals for the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment increased by 3,000 (0.2 percent) jobs from January to February, and it was up 3.6 percent year-over-year. The Nevada unemployment rate fell from 8.7 percent to 8.5 percent. Taxable sales continued to show growth, up 2.1 percent from last year. Total air passengers were up 4.2 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue experienced gains for the month, but it was down 13.7 percent from February 2013.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from January to February by 4,400 jobs and was up 3.3 percent year-over-year. The Las Vegas unemployment rate fell from 9.1 percent to 8.9 percent. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 2.4 percent from a year earlier. January visitor volume was up 3.4 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 15.2 percent lower in February than a year earlier, the result of a large decrease in baccarat play. This is likely a consequence of the Chinese New Year date, which occurred in late January this year, as opposed to mid-February in 2013. Clark County’s taxable sales for January were 4.1 percent above those from a year earlier. Residential construction permits increased from January to February. 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 1,500 (0.7 percent) jobs from January to February. Total employment is up strongly from a year ago, by 5.3 percent. The seasonally adjusted Reno-Sparks unemployment rate fell from 8.9 percent to 8.6 percent. Compared to a year earlier, February visitor volume was up 1.8 percent. Total air passengers were down 8.7 percent from January 2012. Gaming revenues for December were down 1.4 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction increased from January to February, while commercial construction permits remained low.
Ryan T. Kennelly, Economic Analyst
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research