The “third” estimate for U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2015 reports a 3.9 percent annualized growth rate, revised up by 0.2 percent from the second estimate. The Bureau of Economic Analysis stated that a second-quarter increase in real GDP mostly reflected strong consumer spending. More specifically, personal consumption expenditures, net exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment contributed positively to growth; while federal government spending, private inventory investment, and nonresidential fixed investment contributed negatively. U.S. nonfarm employment added 142,000 jobs in September, which matches a similar increase in August. The U.S. economy showed moderate growth despite global market turbulence. Housing starts increased strongly year-over-year, and housing prices increased.
Overall, the Nevada economy posted significant positive signals with the most recent data releases. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment increased by 3,600 jobs from July to August and increased 3.3 percent year-over-year. The Nevada unemployment rate remains unchanged at 6.8 percent from July to August. July taxable sales experienced strong year-over-year growth, up 8.0 percent, and motor vehicle and parts dealers’ sales increased notably by 14.2 percent compared to a year ago. Total air passengers rose 7.0 percent year-over-year. Gaming revenue, however, decreased 1.4 percent year-over-year.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from July to August by 6,600 jobs and increased 2.9 percent year-over-year. The Clark County unemployment rate rose from 6.8 percent to 6.9 percent. Total passengers at McCarran Airport rose 7.2 percent from a year earlier. August visitor volume increased 1.3 percent from last year. Clark County’s taxable sales and gasoline sales for July were 10.7 percent and 2.3 percent above those of a year earlier, respectively, probably reflecting lower gasoline prices. Residential permits fell 6.5 percent from a year ago, while commercial permits remained at a low level. Gaming revenue increased by 0.3 percent compared to August 2014.
The most recent data showed mixed signals for Washoe County. The Reno-Sparks’ seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 300 jobs from July to August but rose 3.4 percent from a year ago. Despite a loss in employment, the Reno-Sparks’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.4 to 6.3 percent, indicating some exits from the labor force. August visitor volume rose 0.6 percent, and total air passengers increased 4.4 percent from last year. July taxable sales increased strongly by 9.2 percent year-over-year, but August gaming revenues decreased by 4.5 percent from a year earlier. Residential permits dropped substantially, 22.8 percent from a year ago. Commercial permits remained low.