The “third” estimate for third quarter 2014 shows U.S. real gross domestic product increasing at an annualized rate of 5 percent, higher than the 3.9 percent growth initially reported. In the revision, personal consumption expenditures and nonresidential fixed investment increased more than previously estimated. Residential investment, net exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending made positive contributions. Changes in private inventories made negative contributions. U.S. nonfarm employment experienced gains in December, adding 252,000 jobs over November. The unemployment rate fell from 5.8 percent to 5.6 percent. Housing starts were down year-over-year, and housing prices experienced a slight decline. 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 increased by 2,400 jobs from October to November, and it was up 2.3 percent year-over-year. The Nevada unemployment rate fell from 7.1 percent to 6.9 percent. Taxable sales continued to show year-over-year growth, up 4 percent. Total air passengers were up 3.3 percent over the same time period. Gaming revenue, however, experienced losses for the month but was up slightly from November 2013.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose from October to November by 2,400 jobs and was up 2.5 percent year-over-year. The Las Vegas unemployment rate remained constant at 7 percent. Total passengers at McCarran Airport were up 2.3 percent from a year earlier. November visitor volume was up 1.8 percent from a year ago. Gaming revenue was 0.9 percent higher than in November 2013. Clark County’s taxable sales for October were 5.3 percent above those of a year earlier. Residential construction permits decreased from October to November. Commercial construction permits remained at a low level.
Seasonally adjusted, Reno-Sparks’ employment experienced an increase from October to November of 100 jobs. Total employment is up over a year ago, by 1.6 percent. Compared to a year earlier, November visitor volume was up 1.7 percent. Total air passengers were up 1.6 percent from October 2013. Gaming revenues for November were down 0.2 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction decreased from October to November, while commercial construction permits remained low.
For the second straight quarter, the U.S. economy experienced strong growth—rebounding from a weak first quarter. Consumer spending remains strong, although some aspects of the housing market are no longer improving. In Clark County, tourism remains fairly robust, and taxable sales continue to make large gains. Nevada’s employment is also showing stable growth.
Ryan T. Kennelly
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research