The “second” estimate for fourth quarter 2013 shows U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 2.4 percent, lower than the 3.2 percent growth first reported in the “advance” estimate. The revision consisted of a smaller increase in personal consumption expenditures from third to fourth quarter 2013. Non-residential 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 February, adding 175,000 jobs over January. Auto/truck sales were down year-over-year, while retail sales remained above their level from January 2013. Consumer confidence fell, while consumer sentiment rose for the most recent data.
The Nevada economy evidenced mostly positive signals for the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment increased by 2,200 jobs from November to December, and was up 1.8 percent year-over-year. The Nevada unemployment rate fell from 9.0 percent to 8.8 percent. Taxable sales continued to show strong growth, up 1.7 percent from last year. Total air passengers were up 3.8 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue also experienced gains for the month, up 9.6 percent from December 2012.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from November to December by 200 jobs. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 4.1 percent from a year earlier. January visitor volume was up 8.1 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 11.8 percent higher in December than a year earlier. Clark County’s taxable sales for December were 2.5 percent above those from a year earlier. Residential construction permits increased from December to January. 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 400 jobs from November to December. Total employment is up from a year ago, by 1.3 percent. Compared to a year earlier, December visitor volume was down 3.9 percent. Total air passengers were up 0.9 percent from December 2012. Gaming revenues for December were down 5.3 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction increased from December to January, while commercial construction permits remained low.
The U.S. economy experienced slightly lower growth than first estimated in fourth quarter 2013. A weak national economy is affecting Nevada in the form of slowing growth in tourism. Despite the slowing tourism, taxable sales continue to make some gains at the state level. Nevada’s employment is also showing relatively stable year-over-year gains.
Ryan T. Kennelly, Economic Analyst
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research