Revised estimates for second quarter 2013 show U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, an improvement over the 1.7 percent growth first reported. Federal government spending made negative contributions. Personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, business fixed investment, residential investment and state and local government spending all made positive contributions. U.S. nonfarm employment experienced moderate gains for August, adding 169,000 jobs over July. The unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent. 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. The Federal Reserve System’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey indicates that credit may finally be loosening.
The Nevada economy evidenced mixed signals for the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment decreased by 10,200 (0.9 percent) jobs from June to July, but it was up 1.3 percent year-over-year. Taxable sales continued to show growth, up 1.2 percent from last year. Total air passengers were up 1.7 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue was down 4.8 percent from June 2012.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment fell from June to July by 3,900 jobs but was still up 1.7 percent year-over-year. The Las Vegas unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent to 9.4 percent, the result of a shrinking labor force. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 1.8 percent from a year earlier. June visitor volume was down 2.8 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 4.8 percent lower in June than a year earlier. Clark County’s taxable sales for June were 0.3 percent below those from a year earlier.
The most recent data show mixed signals for Washoe County as well. Seasonally adjusted, Reno-Sparks’ employment decreased by 1,000 (0.5 percent) jobs from June to July. Total employment is down from a year ago, by 0.2 percent. The seasonally adjusted Reno-Sparks’ unemployment rate fell from 9.5 percent to 9.3 percent. Compared to a year earlier, June visitor volume was up 3.6 percent. Total air passengers were up 1.1 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenues for June were down 2.4 percent from a year earlier.
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.
Ryan T. Kennelly, Economic Analyst
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research
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