URI economist says Rhode Island’s economy is living through ‘worst case scenario’

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

WHAT: Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value plummeted from 75 in January and February to a contraction value of 33 for the month of March. While the effects of the COVID-19 virus were only beginning to be felt in February, the crisis has broadened in terms of its effects on the state economy. In Rhode Island, despite a relatively muted unemployment rate for March, new claims for unemployment insurance rose by more than 2,000%. Says Lardaro, this shock to the economy is the most dramatic he has witnessed in his professional career – unlike previous recessions, the “rug” was literally pulled out entirely from under the economy, causing the U.S. and state economies to grind to a halt.

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

WHEN: May 19, 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.