As R.I. economy shows signs of life, URI economist says structural improvements essential

Media Contact: Dawn Bergantino, 401-874-4147 |

WHAT: Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value remained at 25 for the month of January with only two or three indicators showing much year-over-year improvement, says University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro. Yet, despite the disappointing performance, Lardaro notes the economy has shown some short-term signs of life that should translate to greater future momentum as the economy begins to reopen. Although Lardaro’s CCI is predicated on year-over-year changes, comparisons on a month-over-month basis show improvement in 9 of 12 indicators for the month of January – including Government Employment, New Unemployment Insurance Claims, Retail Sales, Manufacturing Wages and Manufacturing Hours. However, he stressed the need for structural improvements to Rhode Island’s economy to improve its business climate and maintain momentum over the long term.

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

WHEN: March 15, 2021. (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.