According to the April 5, 2012, report from the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Center for Business and Economic Research, “CBER’s Southern Nevada Index of Coincident Economic Indicators showed significant gains for March 2012, rising by more than 2% from the previous month. The index is constructed with two measures of employment. One is collected from a survey of businesses and one collected from a survey of households (the latter as part of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics). Although both measures included in the index rose, the data from the household survey were the primary driver of the gain, increasing by over 3% from February 2012. CBER’s Southern Nevada Index of Leading Indicators also rose by 0.36% in March, continuing on its trend of a slow recovery. The local, regional, and national components all contributed to this growth and allow us to forecast continued economic growth until late summer. CBER’s other three indexes of current economic activity were mixed:
- CBER’s Clark County Business Activity Index declined slightly in January, the result of the drop in taxable sales after the holiday season.
- CBER’s Clark County Tourism Index grew by 0.6% in January. Increased activity at McCarran airport and Las Vegas hotels/casinos drove the growth.
- CBER’s Clark County Construction Index rose in January, the result of a spike in residential and commercial building permits.”
Additional reports on the Nevada economy can be found at http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/apr/03/new-reports-confirm-las-vegas-lagging-economic-rec/; http://tax.state.nv.us/press_release.htm; and http://cber.unlv.edu. Sources: http://business.unlv.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CBER-05Apr2012.pdf
Balance Sheet Review
Total assets were up slightly to $202.0 million at March 31, 2012, from $198.3 million at December 31, 2011, and fell 12% from $228.8 million a year ago.Western Liberty increased its cash and cash equivalents by $3.5 million to $92.9 million, during the first quarter of 2012, while the investment securities portfolio declined by $196,000 to $2.3 million. At March 31, 2012, the investment portfolio was comprised of U.S. Government Agency securities, investment grade corporate debt securities and collateralized mortgage obligations. “We actively manage our investments for liquidity and interest rate risk and are readily able to provide liquidity for the funding of loans or deposit withdrawals,” said Martin.