Rhode Island’s Economy Holds Steady, but Concerns Loom for Future
Leonard Lardaro, a Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island and creator of the Current Conditions Index, is eagerly awaiting revised labor market data to provide a fuller picture of the state’s economic progress. In December, Lardaro stated that Rhode Island’s economy held relatively steady, with some improvement in key indicators such as Government Employment, Private Service-Producing Employment, Total Manufacturing Hours, Manufacturing Wage and Labor Force participation. However, Retail Sales only increased by .02 percent and the looming end of federal stimulus money has raised concerns about balancing the state budget and potential economic slowdown.
Lardaro’s concern lies in the weak improvement of Retail Sales and the end of federal stimulus money. While the CCI remains in an expansion value, Lardaro believes that these factors could make it more difficult to balance the state budget and potentially lead to an economic slowdown. The Current Conditions Index is used to measure the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island by following 12 key indicators. Some of these indicators may be impacted by revised federal data.
Lardaro is available for broadcast and print interviews and will be blogging about the new labor data during the coming weeks. Additional information and historical data can be found online at http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm. For more information or to schedule an interview with Leonard Lardaro or Dawn Bergantino from the URI Department of Communications and Marketing can be contacted at their office at 401-874-4128 or home at 401-783-9563.