January 11, 2012
Letter from Dallas Haun,
The holiday season gives us the gift of renewed hope and fresh expectations for the New Year. Indeed, as 2011 ended, economic reports gave us reason to be optimistic about the prospect for economic stability and potential growth in Nevada:
- Employee wage and salary increases. After falling by more than 8 percent annually in both 2008 and 2009 and remaining flat in 2010, wages and salaries paid to Nevada workers grew by 1.6 percent during the first half of 2011 (latest data available). Reports also showed an increase in employers’ contributions to benefit programs.
- Hotel occupancy rates up. During 2011, occupancy rates at Las Vegas hotels and casino-hotels increased by an average of 4.1 percentage points over the previous year; at the same time, average daily room rates increased by nearly 11 percent. Should this trend continue, the market will record a greater number of occupied hotel rooms than at the market’s peak in 2008.
- Consumers consuming again. Taxable retail sales began to rise in 2011. Through September, every month but April showed positive growth in taxable spending, bringing an end to 35 consecutive months of annualized declines. Vital spending categories such as motor vehicle dealers, restaurants, and clothing stores showed notable improvement.
- Population growth. Annual driver’s license surrenders (a key indicator of population in-migration) reached approximately 60,000 in 2011, an increase of roughly 17 percent over the previous year. At the same time, reported electric meter connections in southern Nevada (a key indicator of housing occupancy) increased by approximately 1.3 percent, suggesting that the region’s population is expanding, and we are beginning to work through our housing surplus.
Significant problems remain to be resolved over the days ahead, and many families in Nevada are still experiencing tough times, but the recent improvements in our economy give us a basis on which to build. We at Nevada State Bank are committed to serving our community through good times and bad. For 52 years, we have provided solutions to help Nevadans realize their financial goals, and we are here for you now.
President and CEO
Nevada State Bank
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