URI economist raises possibility recent monthly improvements may indicate early stages of recovery

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

WHAT: Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value dropped to 17 in the month of October, down from its value of 25 the previous four months, with only two of its 12 indicators – Retail Sales and Manufacturing Wage – showing improvement, says URI economist Leonard Lardaro. Indicators including Benefits Exhaustion, New Unemployment Claims and Employment Service Jobs continue to remain well below where they were this time last year. While Lardaro’s CCI is predicated on year-over-year changes, he explains that a recovery is a “sustained period of increasing overall economic activity that begins with a series of monthly improvements.” If comparing on a month-over-month basis, the relative improvement of some of its indicators have helped to move the monthly CCI into expansion territory for the second consecutive time since the pandemic began – which raises the remote possibility that Rhode Island could be in the earliest stages of an economic recovery. However, Lardaro states raising the possibility of recovery is highly speculative at this point and that it could be 3 to 5 years before the state reaches pre-pandemic levels of activity.

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

WHEN: December 10, 2020

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.