URI economist fears state is entering a recession

WHAT: Revised labor market data significantly impacted Rhode Island’s economic outlook says University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro. Lardaro called the revisions both concerning and disappointing and says Rhode Island’s economy has performed badly since late summer, ending 2022 with a neutral value of 50 and moving into the contraction range with a Current Conditions Index value of 33 for January. Eight of 12 indicators worsened, including Single-Unit Permits, Total Manufacturing Hours, Employment Service Jobs, New Claims for Unemployment and, most notably, Retail Sales. While it is too early to reach a definitive conclusion, Lardaro believes the economy’s recent behavior in light of new data suggests Rhode Island has either entered the early stages of, or is moving toward, a recession.

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

WHEN: March 14, 2023

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.