Leading economic indicators edge upward in August

AN INDEX OF Rhode Island's leading economic indicators increased 0.1 percent in August to 120.1, with a reading of 100 being equivalent to the state's activity in 2000.
Posted 10/1/12

PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators produced by Providence Business News and rose slightly to 120.1 in August.

A reading of 100 on the Providence Business News/ Leading Economic Indicator Index is equivalent to the state’s activity in 2000.

The state leading indicator edged up 0.1 percent in August after a decline of 0.2 percent in July.

The economic indicator index uses nine statistics to forecast the direction of the state’s economy over the next three to six months. Positive numbers signal growth while negative numbers denote contraction.

Five of the nine statistics had positive contributions to the index in August, including: unemployment claims, building permits, national stock prices, interest rate speed and the state’s employment barometer.

Four components negatively contributed to Rhode Island’s growth in August, including: weekly hours in manufacturing, exports of manufactures, regional consumer expectations and the national orders index.

In August, Rhode Island’s six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was 4 percent, after holding a rate of 4.2 percent in July.

By comparison, the long-term annual growth rate for the index was 2 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.

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