URI economist: Rhode Island economy shows signs of recovery from pandemic

WHAT: Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value rose to a value of 75 in April – up significantly from its March value of 42, and its first expansion value since February 2020. University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro says that April may just be the beginning of Rhode Island’s economic recovery from the pandemic and notes that the path to a pre-pandemic economy may be more rapid, helped along by monetary and fiscal stimuli along with large segments of the economy reopening.

While with nine of 12 CCI indicators improving relative to their positions in April of 2020, Lardaro cautioned against getting too carried away as values and the state’s economy overall had fallen so far a year ago it would have been difficult to imagine them declining much further. Despite this, he found the year-over-year improvements in Single-Unit Permits, Retail Sales and payroll employment particularly stunning. Again, however, he cautioned that things will be very different when we “recover,” due to the loss of many small businesses as well as structural changes that have developed in the way firms produce their goods and services.

WHO: URI Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro, creator and author of the Current Conditions Index.

WHEN: June 15, 2021. (no embargo)

HOW: Use attached information, including summary and charts prepared by Lardaro for news reports. He is available for broadcast and print interviews. Lardaro will be blogging about the new labor data during the coming weeks. Additional information and historical data available online: http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm.

FOR INFORMATION: Leonard Lardaro, office, 401-874-4128, home, 401-783-9563.

Dawn Bergantino, URI Department of Communications and Marketing, 401-874-4147.

BACKGROUND: The Current Conditions Index, created by Lardaro, measures the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island by following the behavior of 12 indicators.