RHODE ISLAND'S Leading Economic Indicator Index -- produced jointly by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com -- increased April after posting declines for the two months prior in March and February.
PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com rose slightly in April to 125.1 from 124.9 in March, ending two months of declines in the state’s economic indicator index.
The 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.
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. In April 2013, the leading indicator index was 119.2.
Three of the nine components made a positive contribution to Rhode Island’s economy in April, including building permits, the interest rate spread and the national orders index, while national stock prices made no contribution to the leading indicator index.
The five components that made a negative contribution to the index in April included: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, exports of manufactures, consumer expectations and the state employment barometer. April represented the first time since October 2013 that the state employment barometer registered a negative contribution on the Leading Economic Indicator Index.
In April, Rhode Island’s six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was 4.3 percent, down from a rate of 4.7 percent in March.
By comparison, the long-term annual growth rate for the index was 1.8 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.