URI economist: Rhode Island economy shows forward momentum as recovery continues

WHAT: Rhode Island’s economic restoration continued into November with a Current Conditions Index of 83 – its eighth consecutive expansion value – said URI Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro. As in previous months, Lardaro noted the overall CCI, which is predicated on year-over-year changes, is based on relatively easy “comps” when compared against the November 2020 CCI of 25. Again the CCI saw 10 of 12 economic indicators, including Retail Sales, Total Manufacturing Hours, New Claims for Unemployment Insurance and Single-Unit Permits, show improvement relative to their position in November of last year.

Lardaro predicts continued strong CCI values for several more months, based on comparisons to where the economy stood in late 2020 and early 2021, but expects these numbers to come down as we move further into the year. Despite this, Lardaro remains confident about the direction of the state economy and believes it will continue to move forward, though he expects it to take two to three years before it returns to “normal.” The big question posed by Lardaro remains how Rhode Island will fare once federal stimulus runs out if the state does not move to correct structural deficiencies.

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

WHEN: January 13, 2022. (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.