URI economist notes unimpressive growth, stresses need to improve state business climate for real recovery

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

WHAT: Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value dropped from 25 in January to 17 in February with only two of its 12 indicators improving relative to its position in February of 2020, says University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro. While Lardaro’s CCI is predicated on year-over-year changes, due to depressed pandemic values he has also been tracking CCI on a month-over-month basis since May of last year. On that basis, the economy has shown some slight improvement – including in Retail Sales, Employment Services Jobs, Total Manufacturing Hours and Manufacturing Wage. Lardaro cautions that while the state may be moving in the right direction growth rates thus far have not been particularly impressive. He further stressed that any recovery without a focus on improving the state’s business climate will be a lengthy one.

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

WHEN: April 16, 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.