The “second” estimate of U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2019 expanded at a 2.1 percent annualized rate, revised up by 0.2 percent from the advance estimate of 1.9 percent. The upward revisions reflected less negative business investment, including inventory investment and more positive consumer spending than previously thought, which were partly offset by smaller state and local government spending than initially reported. Robust consumer spending primarily drove real GDP growth in the third quarter. In addition, residential investment, inventory investment and government spending also contributed positively to the real GDP expansion, while continued weaker business investment and net exports contributed negatively to the economic expansion. A tight U.S. labor market and robust retail sales suggest that the U.S. economy will continue its modest expansion, while continued unresolved trade talks with China and a global economic slowdown could provide headwinds.
The Nevada economy experienced more positive than negative signals with the release of the most recent data. Seasonally adjusted statewide employment lost 1,800 jobs in October but rose by 2.2 percent from last year.
Clark County posted mixed signals in local economic activity. Seasonally adjusted employment gained 700 jobs in October, showing its slowest yearly growth of 1.3 percent in nearly eight years. October visitor volume and gaming revenue in Clark County decreased by 0.6 and 5.1 percent, respectively, from last year. Total McCarran Airport passengers, however, hit its highest value on record in October 2019, up by 4.0 percent from last year. September taxable sales also climbed robustly by 7.4 percent year-over-year, while gasoline sales (in gallons) remained flat over the same period. Residential housing permits/units in October experienced a loss of 8.0 percent from a year ago, mainly due to declined activity in unincorporated Clark County.
Washoe County displayed favorable economic signals. The Reno-Sparks seasonally adjusted employment gained 700 jobs in October, up by 4.8 percent year-over-year. September taxable sales for Washoe and Storey Counties experienced a strong year-over-year gain, up by 22.4 percent. September gasoline sales climbed slightly by 0.6 percent from last year. October total airport passengers continued its strong year-over-year gain, rising by 9.6 percent. October visitor volume and gaming revenue rebounded, increasing by 1.1 and 3.9 percent, respectively, from a year ago.
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.