Updated March 29 at 12:28am

Leading economic indicators continue rise in May


PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent in May.

The Providence Business News/e-forecasting.com Leading Economic Indicator Index, produced by e-forecasting.com and Providence Business News, rose to 119.9. A reading of 100 is equivalent to the state’s activity in 2000.

The May rise marked the seventh consecutive month of increases in the index, which rose a revised 0.7 percent in April after a 1.1 percent climb in March.

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 May, including: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, consumer expectations, interest rate spread and orders index.

Four components negatively contributing to Rhode Island’s growth in May, including: building permits, exports of manufacturers, national stock prices and the state employment barometer.

In May, Rhode Island’s six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was 6.1 percent, down from a revised 6.2 percent in April.

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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