Updated March 26 at 9:26pm

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ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Lardaro: R.I. enters 2Q on a ‘positive note’

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SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Economic conditions in Rhode Island entered the second quarter on a “positive note,” according to Leonard Lardaro’s Current Conditions Index, adding that the state is not close to a double-dip recession.

The CCI tracks Rhode Island’s economic performance across a dozen metrics. A number greater than 50 signifies progress. A value less than 50 denotes the opposite.

Starting last month, the University of Rhode Island economist provided two index numbers.

The first value uses what he considers to be flawed existing labor market data and the second value is based on likely changes that will emerge for the two indicators most affected – the private service producing employment and employment – when the federal government revises the data.

The April index measured 50/75, down from the March index, which measured 58/75.

Fifty is considered a neutral value and 75 “indicates that the re-acceleration of our state’s economy after the doldrums in the second half of 2011 continued in April,” said Lardaro, adding that there is some evidence that the re-acceleration may be losing steam.

In April, four out of five non-survey-based CCI indicators showed year-over-year improvement although only three of the five showed improvement on a monthly basis: retail sales, by 1.6. percent; U.S. consumer sentiment, 9.2 percent; new home construction, 7.5 percent.

New jobless claims fell 8.8 percent in April, its fifth improvement in the last six months, according to the report. Benefit exhaustions, which are reflective of longer-term unemployment, failed to improve for the first time in nearly a year.

“Rhode Island continues to find itself in a sluggish recovery,” said Lardaro in his report, adding that even it is sluggish, Rhode Island reached its 26th month of recovery in April.

For the full report, visit www.llardaro.com.

Leonard Lardaro, Current Conditions index, providence, rhode island, business, new business, small business, CCI Index, University of Rhode Island

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