After two years of gains, Clark County taxable sales slip

An important economic indicator took a step back in June, as consumers eased off on spending.

After more than two years of reliable gains in the 5 percent to 10 percent range, taxable sales stumbled in Clark County and the state. The value of all goods sold in the county fell 0.3 percent year over year in June to $2.85 billion, the state Department of Taxation reported Tuesday. Statewide, sales gained 1.2 percent, rising to $3.96 billion.

Though the general sales trend of the last two years suggests the local economy is headed up, the newest numbers show Southern Nevada is still in recovery mode, and economic uncertainty could keep things that way in coming months, experts said.

Steve Brown, director of UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said a slowdown in tourism is likely behind the softer sales stats. Visitor volume was down 0.9 percent year to year in June, and off 0.3 percent in the first six months of 2013, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. And slumping machinery manufacturing and printing sales reflected sluggish business spending, Brown said.

“I think there is an overall lack of confidence that economic growth will continue,” he said. “If we look at our most recent business survey in July, businesses said their weakest expectations were for hiring. And as long as businesses remain reluctant to hire, consumers will be reluctant to make purchases.”

Added Brian Gordon, principal in local research firm Applied Analysis: “One month does not make a trend, and there can be ups and downs in any given period. But this latest report does demonstrate that the local economy, while improving, remains somewhat fragile, with a long road to go before reaching back to pre-recession levels.”

Clark County’s taxable sales were 12.2 percent below their $3.24 billion record for June, set in 2006. But county sales were up 17.3 percent from their June 2010 low of $2.43 billion.

As through much of the recovery, consumers focused in June on bigger-ticket items, a sign they’re still replacing worn items they held onto during harder times, Gordon said.

Car sales were up 6.9 percent countywide, to $302.6 million. Clothing retailers posted a 4.1 percent jump, to $294.3 million. Purchases of electronics and appliances jumped 15.9 percent, to $94.4 million. And building material and garden equipment and supply stores experienced an 11.6 percent spike, to $101.8 million.

Meanwhile, spending on smaller-scale discretionary goods struggled. Sales inside bars and restaurants, which made up 27 percent of county spending, were flat, gaining 0.7 percent to end June at $762 million. Sales inside general merchandise stores, including department stores, ticked up 1.6 percent, to $257 million.

Gordon said factors that could cut into nonessential spending include new payments from cars and other big purchases, as well as rising health-care costs and January’s 2 percent rise in the Social Security payroll tax. What’s more, incomes are essentially flat since the recession.

“A number of factors suggest there could be overall weakness related to consumer spending, and June’s numbers are one sign that we’re not out of the woods,” Gordon said.

And despite noticeable gains in new-home permits and building projects on the Strip, countywide construction spending dipped 9.2 percent year over year in June, falling to $44.4 million, as infrastructure building faltered. That figure was also 78.7 percent below the $208.8 million in construction spending in June 2008.

Gross revenue collections from sales and use taxes, which help fund prisons and social services, totaled $309 million, a 2.25 percent increase from a year earlier.

The General Fund portion of the sales and use taxes finished fiscal 2013 0.34 percent, or $3 million, above projections of the Economic Forum, a nonpartisan group that forecasts revenue for state budgets.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
With holidays around the corner, department stores hiring extra staff
J.C. Penny hired 72 seasonal workers this year at the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson in order to handle the heavy traffic of the holiday shopping season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Startup Weekend fosters new businesses
With the help of entrepreneurial peers and an expert panel of mentors, Techstars Startup Weekend fosters the ideas of attendees into marketable business plans. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mecum Car Auction in Las Vegas
The Mecum Auctions is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Construction underway for new Google Data Center
Henderson is slated to be home to a new Google data center in December 2020. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved $25.2 million in tax abatements for Design LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google. The company plans to build the data center on 64 acres of land on Warm Springs Road west of Boulder Highway.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, an in-home digital companion and monitor.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, HAPPIE Home technology, an in-home digital companion and monitor designed for unpaid family caregivers that gives personalized alerts, messages and reminders. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Holiday parades help bring shoppers to Downtown Summerlin
Sports Town USA floor manager Angela Gardonio talks about the work that goes into the Downtown Summerlin holiday parades and how they benefit her and other businesses there.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like