Economist Develops Comprehensive Index to Track Rhode Island’s Economic Progress: December CCI Reveals Mixed Signs Despite Steady Economy

URI Economist: Rhode Island Economy Improving, Caution Still Necessary – Rhody Today

Lardaro, a University of Rhode Island economist and professor, has developed the Current Conditions Index to measure the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island. The index tracks the behavior of 12 key indicators to provide a comprehensive picture of the state’s economic progress.

In December, Rhode Island’s economy held relatively steady according to Lardaro, but he is eagerly awaiting revised labor market data that will provide a fuller picture of the state’s progress. While the existing data shows a December CCI of 58, there are key indicators showing improvement, including Government Employment, Private Service-Producing Employment, Total Manufacturing Hours, Manufacturing Wage, and Labor Force participation.

Despite these positive signs, Lardaro’s concern lies in the weak improvement of Retail Sales, which was up only 0.02 percent. Additionally, he is concerned about the looming end of federal stimulus money and its potential impact on balancing the state budget and potentially leading to an economic slowdown.

Lardaro is available for broadcast and print interviews as well as blogging about new labor data in the coming weeks. Additional information and historical data can be found online.

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