Survey: Growth slowing in Vegas | NevadaAppeal.com

Survey: Growth slowing in Vegas

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – A snapshot of the Southern Nevada economy found fewer new residents moving in, and new home and commercial building permits down sharply compared with a year ago.

But seven other growth categories charted by the Southern Nevada Index of Leading Economic Indicators posted gains, which helped the index climb to 130.05 in November, up from 128.78 the previous month.

“Generally, the construction series lost some ground, but the travel and tourism series were up strongly,” said Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The index, produced by the center, is a six-month forecast using weighted and seasonally adjusted data from state taxation, motor vehicles, public safety and employment security departments, Home Builders Research and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The number of new Clark County residents was down 18.3 percent, from 8,480 in October 2003 to 6,925 in the same month this year.

New home permits dropped 25.5 percent, and commercial permits were down 36 percent. Commercial building valuation fell to $37.4 million in October, down 46.6 percent from $58.3 million a year ago.

Job growth over the past year exceeded 40,000, taxable sales grew by 16.7 percent and gaming revenue was up by more than 10 percent, measured year-over-year for September.

Tourism also improved in September, including a jump in gaming revenue, a 14.7 percent increase in passengers at McCarran International Airport and hotel occupancy above 90 percent.