URI economist: Rhode Island economy appears be slowing, still too early to tell

WHAT: After two extremely strong months, Rhode Island’s economy appeared to slow a bit in October, says University of Rhode Island Economist Leonard Lardaro, with the Current Conditions Index dropping from 92 to 75. While not completely unexpected given the pace of the state’s economic activity for more than a year, Lardaro cautions that a slipping monthly performance could translate into annual changes. With 9 of 12 key CCI indicators still showing improvement, Employment Service Jobs declined sharply after four months of improvement and 2 additional indicators – Retail Sales and Total Manufacturing Hours – slowed substantially. Despite this, Rhode Island’s economy continues to remain in expansion territory (a CCI above 50) – and has been for 16 consecutive months. Although a number of indicators seem to point to slowing in the coming months, Lardaro says it is too early to make predictions. Both monetary policy changes and the large amount of federal funds received by the state which have yet to be spent could impact economic performance in the coming months.

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

WHEN: Dec. 15, 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.