PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com rose 0.3 percent in May to 122.1.
A reading of 100 on the Providence Business News/e-forecasting.com Leading Economic Indicator Index is equivalent to the state’s activity in 2000.
The state leading indicator increase of 0.3 percent in May followed no increase in April, which brought to an end an eight-month streak of increases.
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.
Four components made positive contributions to Rhode Island’s economy in May, including: unemployment claims, building permits, national stock prices and the interest rate spread.
Five of the nine statistics had negative contributions to the index in May, including: weekly hours in manufacturing, exports of manufacturers, regional consumer expectations, the national orders index and the state’s employment barometer.
In May, Rhode Island’s six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was 2.6 percent, a slight increase from April’s revised 2.4 percent rate.
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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