The “advance” estimate for third quarter 2014 shows U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent, lower than the 4.6 percent growth experienced in second quarter 2014. Personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, residential investment, federal government spending and state and local government spending made positive contributions. Net exports and changes in private inventories made negative contributions. Housing starts were up substantially year-over-year, and housing prices experienced a slight increase. Auto/truck sales and retail sales remained above their level from last year.
The Nevada economy evidenced mostly positive signals with the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment decreased by 1,800 jobs from August to September, and it was up 3.2 percent year-over-year. The Nevada unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent to 7.3 percent. Taxable sales continued to show year-over-year growth, up 7.5 percent. Total air passengers were up 3.0 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue, however, experienced losses for the month and was down 6.0 percent from September 2013.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from August to September was up 2.8 percent year-over-year. The Las Vegas unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 7.2 percent. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 2.7 percent from a year earlier. September visitor volume was up 1.3 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 6.8 percent lower than in September 2013. Clark County’s taxable sales for July were 12.2 percent above those of a year earlier. Residential construction permits decreased from August to September. Commercial construction permits remained at a low level.
The most recent data show mixed signals for Washoe County. Seasonally adjusted, Reno-Sparks’ employment experienced an increase from August to September by 1,500 jobs. Total employment is up over a year ago, by 3.0 percent. The seasonally adjusted Reno-Sparks unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent to 6.8 percent. Compared to a year earlier, September visitor volume was up 0.2 percent. Total air passengers were down 1.0 percent from August 2013. Gaming revenues for September were down 1.6 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction increased from August to September, while commercial construction permits remained low.
For the second straight quarter, the U.S. economy experienced moderate growth—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