WHAT: Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value returned to 25 in the month of November, returning to where it sat for the bulk of the summer after dipping to 17 during the month of October. While this is a slight improvement, URI economist Leonard Lardaro notes this is far below where the economy stood in January and February of 2020. Individual indicators such as Retail Sales and Manufacturing Wages continued to improve in November. One bright spot, Single Use Permits, which is reflective of new home construction, were up for the first time since August. However, several indicators, including Total Manufacturing Hours, Employment Service Jobs, Unemployment and Benefits Exhaustion continued to move in the wrong direction. Although Lardaro’s CCI is predicated on year-over-year changes, comparisons on a month-over-month basis had shown improvement in recent months. Unfortunately, the monthly value for November fell back to 42 after two months of improvement, leading Lardaro to put discussions of the possibility that state may have been in the early stages of a recovery on hold.
WHO: URI Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro, creator and author of the Current Conditions Index.
WHEN: January 13, 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.