The Fed has continued its course of pushing the short-term federal funds rate upward, as it foresees further expansion with increasing prospects for inflation. But, by all accounts, the Fed will soon pause to assess the effectiveness of the interest-rate increases. Recent events in the Middle East may well be the key reason for a reassessment. Uncertainties have pushed oil prices upward, and – having passed the 70-dollar-a-barrel threshold – one might reasonably anticipate economic headwinds to slow an otherwise nicely expanding economy.
Developing headwinds from energy-price uncertainty may or may not prove difficult for the Nevada economy. That is, some softening in an otherwise buoyant economy may only create a more measured growth and expansion path. Current indicators reveal all geographic regions of the Silver State, namely Clark County, Washoe County and rural Nevada, enjoying robust economic conditions.
Unemployment rates, one of the more often used measures for gauging a region’s economic health, are below the national rate of 4.7 percent. The most recent unemployment rates are 3.8 percent, 4.1 percent and 4.0 percent for Clark County, Washoe County and the state of Nevada, respectively. This recent performance is a continuation of very favourable labor-market conditions over the past few years. As such, population growth should continue over the next couple of years, driven by readily available employment opportunities.
Nevada’s key industries – travel and tourism, construction and mining – continue to report good economic conditions. Thus, though ever-changing economic factors may increasingly point to greater economic risks, the near-term outlook for the Silver State is great.