The “second” estimate of U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2020 grew 33.1 percent at an annual rate, unchanged from the previous estimate. Although the rate of the growth remained the same, revisions occurred for several components. That is, upward revisions to non-residential fixed investment and residential investment were offset by downward revisions to consumer spending, state and local government spending, private inventory investment, and net exports. Overall, a best-ever gain in real GDP reflected strong recovery in both consumer spending and business investment, boosted by the CARES Act and the Fed’s unlimited Quantitative Easing. U.S. nonfarm employment added 245,000 jobs in November amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Retail sales in October continued its robust year-over-year gain at 5.7 percent. Housing starts in October also rose strongly by 14.2 percent year-over-year. The U.S. economic recovery is currently losing momentum due to new business restrictions caused by the surge in coronavirus cases.
Nevada’s economic activity continued to improve based on the most recent monthly data. Seasonally adjusted statewide employment gained 3,600 jobs in October. October air passengers and gaming revenue continued to experience double-digit year-over-year losses of 56.8 and 19.5 percent, respectively. September taxable sales, however, only contracted by 4.0 percent from a year ago, thanks to increased personal income due to the CARES Act.
In Clark County, seasonally adjusted employment added 8,100 jobs in October. Total McCarran Airport passengers and visitor volume in October experienced strong month-over-month gains but remained at a much lower level compared to last year, down by 57.0 and 50.0 percent, respectively. October gaming revenue also improved from last month, declining by 23.6 percent from last year. September taxable sales, however, only decreased by 6.6 percent year-over-year despite the large loss in visitor volume. Residential housing permits/units in October were down by 17.2 percent year-over-year after a substantial rise last month.
In Washoe County, the Reno-Sparks seasonally adjusted employment gained 200 jobs in October and remained only 6.0 percent lower than a year earlier. September taxable sales decreased by 6.1 percent year-over-year. October gaming revenue, however, rose strongly by 6.1 percent from last year, while visitor volume declined by 21.0 percent during the same period.
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.