Leading economic indicators continue to rise in April

AN INDEX OF Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators, produced by and Providence Business News, rose 1 percent in April. For a larger version of this chart, click HERE.
Posted 6/7/12

PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators rose 1 percent in April.

The Providence Business News/ leading economic indicator index, produced by and Providence Business News, rose to 120.9. A reading of 100 is equivalent to the state’s activity in 2000.

The April rise marked the sixth consecutive month of increases in the index, which rose 1.1 percent in March after a 1.2 percent climb in February.

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 March, 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 April, including: building permits, exports of manufacturers, national stock prices and the state employment barometer.

In April, Rhode Island’s six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was a record 7.1 percent, up from 5.5 percent in March after a six-month growth rate of 3.6 percent in February.

By comparison, the long-term annual growth rate for the index was 2.1 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.

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