URI economist says state economy has “downshifted into first gear”

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

WHAT: After a significant but temporary contraction in February, Rhode Island’s economy remains where it has been since March. While seven of the 12 Current Conditions Index indicators have shown improvement, none are particularly strong – with the exception of retail sales. The Current Conditions Index for May remains at 58 for its third straight month, compared to 100 for May of 2018, and has now failed to improve relative to its year-earlier value for 12 months. Although it is no longer believed that Rhode Island may be entering an early stage of recession, based on its tepid economic performance there remains a continuing cause for concern. The state’s economy appears to have downshifted into first gear with slowing momentum and negative elements that have gained in importance.

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

WHEN: Embargoed until Monday, July 15, 2019 at 12:05 a.m.

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. You can find his discussion and charts at http://rieconomy.blogspot.com. 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.