Despite mixed results, Rhode Island economy shows encouraging signs says URI economist

WHAT: Rhode Island’s Current Conditions Index for March remained unchanged from its January and February values of 75, says University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro. Given that the CCI is predicated on year-over-year changes, and the “comps” against which March compares are more difficult than previous months, Lardaro sees this as an encouraging sign. According to Lardaro, nine of 12 indicators improved this month showing a healthy growth rate – without the assistance of favorable “base effects” (weak levels from a year ago). However, he notes that not all indicators showed strong growth – Labor Force increased by .01%, while indicators such as Consumer Sentiment, Single-Use Permits (new home construction) and Employment Service Jobs showed disturbingly large negative growth rates. Lardaro believes that in the coming months Rhode Island will continue to move closer to its normal, or longer-term performance. The question remains, he says, as to whether the state will resume its “First In, Last Out” status as the national economy weakens and potentially moves closer to recession by the end of 2023.

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

WHEN: May 17, 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:

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.