The “third” estimate for first quarter 2014 shows U.S. real gross domestic product decreasing at an annualized rate of 2.9 percent, lower than the negative 1.0 percent growth reported in the “second” estimate. The revision was due to the increase in personal consumption expenditures being smaller and the decline in exports being larger than previously estimated. Federal government spending made positive contributions. Changes in private inventories, residential investment, nonresidential fixed investment, net exports, and state and local government spending made negative contributions. U.S. nonfarm employment experienced gains in June, adding 288,000 jobs over May. Auto/truck sales and retail sales remained above their level from last year. Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment rose for the most recent data.
The Nevada economy evidenced positive signals with the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment increased by 2,400 (0.2 percent) jobs from April to May, and it was up 3.9 percent year-over-year. The Nevada unemployment rate fell from 8.0 percent to 7.9 percent. Taxable sales continued to show growth, up 3.1 percent from last year. Total air passengers were up 1.3 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue experienced gains for the month and were up 8.1 percent from May 2013.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from April to May by 1,100 jobs and was up 3.1 percent year-over-year. The Las Vegas unemployment rate fell from 8.5 percent to 8.2 percent. Total passengers at McCarran Airport remained constant from a year earlier. May visitor volume was up 3.7 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 16.5 percent higher in May than a year earlier, the result of an increase in baccarat play. Clark County’s taxable sales for April were 8.1 percent above those of a year earlier. Residential construction permits decreased from April to May. Commercial construction permits remained at a low level.
The most recent data show mixed signals for Washoe County. Seasonally adjusted, Reno-Sparks’ employment experienced a decrease from April to May by 600 jobs. Total employment is up over a year ago, by 3.4 percent. The seasonally adjusted Reno-Sparks unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent to 7.5 percent, the result of a shrinking labor force. Compared to a year earlier, April visitor volume was up 2.6 percent. Total air passengers were down 4.5 percent from April 2013. Gaming revenues for May were up 1.5 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction increased from April to May, while commercial construction permits remained low.
The U.S. economy experienced negative growth for first quarter 2014— largely the result of corrections in private inventories and a decline in net exports. A weak national economy may be affecting Nevada by weakening tourism.
Ryan T. Kennelly, Economic Analyst
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research