URI economist: Economic activity picks up pace

WHAT: The pace of economic activity in Rhode Island continued to improve in July along with showing hints of an accelerated pace says noted University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro. According to Lardaro, Rhode Island’s Current Conditions Index for July improved to an expansion value of 75 – up from 67, where it had been for the past several months. Several key indicators showed substantial sustained or rising strength – among them Retail Sales, Total Manufacturing Hours, Benefits Exhaustion and New Claims (for Unemployment Insurance). Most noteworthy, he noted, was an improvement in Employment Service Jobs – a leading labor market indicator that includes temporary workers – after six consecutive months of (annual) declines. The biggest risk ahead, says Lardaro, is the extent to which the interest-sensitive parts of our economy, such as Retail Sales and Single Unit Permits, slow due to monetary tightening in the coming months.

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

WHEN: Sept. 20, 2022.

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.