The “advance” estimate of U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2019 increased by 1.9 percent at an annualized rate. Residential investment, which experienced six consecutive quarters of losses, finally rebounded and also contributed positively to the real GDP growth. U.S. nonfarm employment gained 128,000 jobs in October with large losses in the manufacturing sector due to the auto industry strike. Housing starts in September continued to gain by 1.6 percent from last year. The Fed cut its federal funds rate in October for the third time this year to a target range between 1.50 and 1.75 percent due to the recent U.S. economic slowdown mainly as a result of the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute and global economic slowdown.
The Nevada economy experienced favorable signals with the release of the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted statewide employment gained a strong 6,000 jobs in September and continued its largest year-over-year percentage gain of 3.2 percent among all states. September gaming revenue climbed robustly by 6.8 percent. August taxable sales experienced a strong year-over-year rise of 7.6 percent, while gasoline sales (in gallons) increased slightly by 0.8 percent over the same period. September Nevada air passengers rose robustly by 6.6 percent from last year.
Clark County also experienced generally positive signals in local economic activity. Seasonally adjusted employment gained 5,500 jobs in September, up by 2.1 percent from last year. September visitor volume in Clark County hardly budged from last year, up by 0.2 percent year-over-year. September gaming revenue, however, experienced a strong yearly gain of 8.3 percent. Total McCarran Airport passengers in September also hit its record-high September value, climbing by a strong 6.6 percent from last year. August taxable sales were also up strongly by 9.1 percent year-over-year, while gasoline sales (in gallons) rose slightly by 0.3 percent during the same period. Residential housing permits/units in September remained relatively flat, up by 0.3 percent from a year ago.
Washoe County posted somewhat mixed economic signals. The Reno-Sparks seasonally adjusted employment gained 1,100 jobs in September, up by 6.0 percent year-over-year. August taxable sales and gasoline sales for Washoe and Storey Counties experienced year-over-year gains, up by 6.9 and 2.6 percent, respectively. September total airport passengers continued its strong year-over-year gain, increasing by 8.1 percent. September visitor volume and gaming revenue, nonetheless, fell by 5.1 and 3.4 percent, respectively, from last 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.