WHAT: Rhode Island’s economic performance at the end of 2020 remained largely the same as it has throughout the pandemic says University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro. December’s Current Conditions Index (CCI) value held relatively steady at 25, where it has been more or less since hitting a low of 8 in the spring. While Lardaro’s CCI is predicated on year-over-year changes, comparisons on a month-over-month basis show expansion for the fourth time in five months. Individual indicators such as Retail Sales and Manufacturing Wages, as well as Single Use Permits, which is reflective of new home construction, continued to show improvement. However, despite some glimmers of hope throughout the past several months, Lardaro says Rhode Island’s economy remains largely stuck and anticipates 3 to 5 years for the state to return to where it was pre-pandemic. Noting the pre-pandemic economy was still largely stagnant, Lardaro asserts that the current crisis provides an opportunity for leaders to specifically define Rhode Island’s economic niche to reinvent and reinvigorate its economy and business climate.
WHO: URI Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro, creator and author of the Current Conditions Index.
WHEN: February 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: 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.