The second estimate for U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016 was revised upward from the first estimate of 0.5 to 0.8 percent annualized growth rate. This revision mainly reflects upward adjustments in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment and exports and a downward adjustment in imports. The stronger dollar, cheaper oil and a weaker global economy all contributed to a slower U.S. domestic economy in the first quarter. U.S. nonfarm employment slowed dramatically in May, adding only 38,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped significantly to 4.7 percent due to a lower labor participation rate. Retail sales posted a 3.0 percent year-over-year growth, while auto and truck sales increased 3.7 percent from April 2015. Housing starts decreased by 1.7 percent compared to last year, but increased by 6.6 percent since last month.
The Nevada economy continued to post positive gains in economic activity. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8 percent from March to April, but fell by 1.1 percent from its level of 6.9 percent a year ago. Although gaming revenue decreased by 2.4 percent from last year, taxable sales, gasoline sales, and total air passengers all increased by 3.1, 1.4, and 3.2 percent, respectively, from last year.
The most recent data on the Clark County economy provides more positive than negative signals about the economy. Although seasonally adjusted employment lost 100 jobs from March to April, it added 23,600 jobs from April 2015. Total McCarran passengers and visitor volume fell from March to April by 4.0 and 4.9 percent, respectively, but rose 3.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. Gaming revenue in April fell by 5.5 and 3.9 percent on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis, respectively. Residential housing permits rose by 26.5 and 59.5 percent from last month and last year, respectively. Visitor volume experienced a yearly gain of 0.6 percent but a monthly loss of 4.9 percent.
Washoe County experienced somewhat better economic conditions than Clark County. The Reno-Sparks seasonally adjusted employment gained 1,300 jobs for the month and 9,200 jobs for the year. Moreover, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in April from 6.5 percent last year. Taxable sales and gaming revenue increased strongly by 9.5 and 3.7 percent on a month-over-month basis and by 5.9 and 15.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, respectively. Visitor volume increased year over-year by 8.0 percent and decreased month over-month by 3.7 percent. Residential housing permits fell significantly by 19.7 and 11.8 percent from last month and last year, respectively.