The “second” estimate for U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2015 indicates an annualized rate increase of 3.7 percent, which is a significant upward revision from the advance estimate of 2.3 percent. The Bureau of Economic Analysis stated that second-quarter increases in real GDP mostly reflected strong consumer spending. More generally, personal consumption expenditures, net exports, state and local government spending and residential fixed investment made positive contributions. Federal government spending, private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment made negative contributions. U.S. nonfarm employment experienced gains in August, adding 173,000 jobs over July. Moreover, the previous months saw a 44,000 upward revision in jobs. The unemployment rate declined from 5.3 to 5.1 percent during the same period, which is its lowest level since the 2008 recession. Housing starts increased strongly year-over-year, and housing prices increased. Auto/truck sales and retail sales remained above their respective levels from last year and are expected to stay strong. The stock market experienced a loss because of a fear of a further slowdown in the Chinese economy and the implied slower growth in emerging market economies as well as the possibility of an increase in U.S. interest rates. Oil prices remain at their lowest levels since the recession.
The Nevada economy evidenced significant positive signals from the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted, statewide employment increased 3.7 percent year-over-year. Taxable sales experienced a strong year-over-year growth, up 7.1 percent. Total air passengers rose 8.5 percent year-over-year. Gaming revenue decreased 1.0 percent year-over-year.
For Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment rose 3.2 percent year-over-year. Total passengers at McCarran Airport rose 8.8 percent from a year earlier. June visitor volume increased 4.8 percent from last year. Clark County’s taxable sales and gasoline sales for June were 6.3 percent and 4.5 percent above those of a year earlier, respectively. Residential permits fell 14 percent from a year ago, and commercial permits remained at a low level. Gaming revenue was 1.7 percent lower than in June 2014.
The most recent data also showed positive signals for Washoe County. The Reno-Sparks’ seasonally adjusted employment rose 3.6 percent from a year ago. July visitor volume fell 0.6 percent, while total air passengers increased 5.6 percent from last year. Taxable sales for June strongly increased 12.2 percent year-over-year, and gaming revenues for July increased 4.9 percent from a year earlier. Residential permits fell substantially, 27.8 percent from a year ago. Commercial permits remained low.
Jinju Lee, Eonomic Analyst
Stephen M. Miller, Director