Estimates for second quarter 2013 show U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent, an improvement over the 1.1 percent growth experienced in first quarter 2013. Federal government spending and net exports made negative contributions. Personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, business fixed investment, residential investment, and state and local government spending all made positive contributions to second quarter growth. U.S. nonfarm employment experienced moderate gains for July, adding 162,000 jobs over June. Consumer confidence fell, while consumer sentiment rose in July. The Federal Reserve System’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey indicates that credit may finally be loosening.
The Nevada economy evidenced generally positive signs with the most recent data. The Nevada unemployment rate increased slightly from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent. Taxable sales continued to show growth, up 6.1 percent from last year. Total air passengers were up 1.7 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue was up 1.4 percent from May.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from May to June by 1,700 jobs. The Las Vegas unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent to 9.7 percent. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 1.8 percent from a year earlier. May visitor volume was similar to a year ago. Gaming revenue was 5.7 percent lower in May than a year earlier. Clark County’s taxable sales for April were 4.7 percent above those from a year earlier. Residential construction permits increased from May to June. Commercial construction permits remained at a low level.
The most recent data show positive signals for Washoe County. Seasonally adjusted, Reno-Sparks’ employment increased by 200 (0.1 percent) jobs from May to June. Compared to a year earlier, May visitor volume was up 7.4 percent. Total air passengers were up 1.1 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenues for May were up strongly (7.5 percent) from a year earlier. Residential construction permits declined in June, while commercial construction permits remained low.
The U.S. economy experienced a slight pickup in growth for second quarter 2013. Consumer spending and most measures of the housing market are showing continued improvement. 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
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research
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