The “second” estimate of U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2019 grew by 2.0 percent at an annualized rate, down by 0.1 percentage point compared to the “advance” estimate of 2.1 percent. The overall economic picture of economic growth remained the same. Stronger consumer spending, which showed its fastest growth in nearly four years by rising by 4.7 percent, mainly contributed to the real GDP increase, and government spending also contributed positively to the economic expansion. Private inventory investment, net exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment, however, contributed negatively to the real GDP growth. U.S. nonfarm employment added only 130,000 jobs in August, including a temporary gain of 25,000 jobs due to the 2020 Census. Retail sales in July rose 3.4 percent year-over-year. Housing starts were up slightly by 0.6 percent from last year. The Fed will likely cut its federal funds rate again by the end of this year if global economic uncertainty and trade tensions between the United States and China continue.
The Nevada economy experienced generally positive signals with the release of the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted statewide employment gained 5,200 jobs in July. July gaming revenue increased by 2.9 percent year-over-year. June taxable sales climbed robustly by 6.0 percent from a year earlier, while gasoline sales (in gallons) remained relatively flat, down by 0.01 percent over the same period. July Nevada air passengers exceeded the level from last year by 2.3 percent.
Clark County also experienced positive signals in its economic activity relative to last year. Seasonally adjusted employment added 4,100 jobs in July. July visitor volume in Clark County grew weakly by 0.4 percent year-over-year, and July gaming revenue rose by 2.5 percent over the same period. Total McCarran Airport passengers also posted a year-over-year gain of 2.0 percent. June taxable sales and gasoline sales rose by 7.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively, from last year. Residential housing permits/units in July continued its strong yearly growth, up by 52.7 percent.
Washoe County posted generally positive economic signals. The Reno-Sparks seasonally adjusted employment gained 1,400 jobs in July, up by 6.0 percent year-over-year. June taxable sales for Washoe and Storey Counties rebounded after four consecutive year-over-year declines, up by 4.2 percent. July visitor volume continued to decrease by 3.9 percent from last year, while gaming revenue increased marginally by 0.1 percent over the same period. July total airport passengers, however, gained 4.3 percent year-over-year
Stephen M. Miller, Director
Jinju Lee, Economic Analyst
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research
The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas or the Nevada System of Higher Education.