URI economist says R.I. ends year on bittersweet note

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December Current Conditions Index drops to 58

WHAT: The Current Conditions Index dropped to 58 in December, a sharp decline from November’s Index of 75. “It wasn’t too hard to see what December would bring for Rhode Island’s economy; like the nation, Rhode Island slowed a bit further, as weakness in the our goods-producing sector continued,” said URI Economics Professor Leonard Lardaro. “Ironically, most people here continue to think that our state’s growth rate is accelerating, based on an inappropriately focused view that the unemployment rate tells us all we need to know about our state’s rate of growth.”

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

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016

HOW: Use attached information, including summary and charts prepared by Lardaro for news reports. He is available for broadcast and print interviews. The new information and other historical information can also be found on Lardaro’s web site at http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm. Lardaro will be blogging about the new labor data during the coming weeks. You can find his discussion and charts at http://rieconomy.blogspot.com.

FOR INFORMATION: Leonard Lardaro, office, 401-874-4128, home, 401-783-9563

Dave Lavallee, URI Department of Communications and Marketing, 401-874-5862.

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.