The “second” estimate for second quarter 2014 shows U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 4.2 percent, slightly higher than the 4.0 percent growth first reported. The revision was due to the increase in non-resident fixed investment being larger than initially estimated. Personal consumption expenditures, changes in private inventories, residential investment and state and local government spending made positive contributions. Net exports and federal government spending made negative contributions. Housing starts were up substantially year-over-year, and housing prices experienced a slight increase. 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 decreased by 200 jobs from June to July, but it was up 3.8 percent year-over-year. Taxable sales continued to show growth, up 4.7 percent from last year. Total air passengers were up 0.9 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue experienced gains for the month and was up 0.7 percent from July 2013.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from June to July by 2,700 jobs and was up 3.1 percent year-over-year. The Las Vegas unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 1.9 percent from a year earlier. July visitor volume was up 2.3 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 2.2 percent higher in July than a year earlier. Clark County’s taxable sales for June were 8.0 percent above those of a year earlier. Residential construction permits increased from June to July. 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 June to July by 100 jobs. Total employment is up over a year ago, by 3.2 percent. The seasonally adjusted Reno-Sparks unemployment rate fell from 7.3 percent to 7.1 percent, the result of a shrinking labor force. Compared to a year earlier, July visitor volume was up 1.2 percent. Total air passengers were down 3.7 percent from June 2013. Gaming revenues for July were down 1.0 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction increased from June to July, while commercial construction permits remained low.
The U.S. economy experienced moderate growth in second quarter 2014—rebounding from a weak first quarter. Consumer spending remains strong, and the housing market continues to improve. In Clark County, tourism remains fairly robust, and taxable sales continue to make large gains. Nevada’s employment is also showing strong growth.
Ryan T. Kennelly
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research