PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com rose to 122.2 in January.
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 rose 0.6 percent in January after a revised 0.7 percent increase in December. January marked the sixth consecutive month of increases in the index.
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.
Six of the nine statistics had positive contributions to the index in January, including: weekly hours in manufacturing, exports of manufacturers, building permits, national stock prices, interest rate spread and the state’s employment barometer.
Three components made negative contributions to Rhode Island’s economy in January, including: unemployment claims, regional consumer expectations and the national orders index.
In January, Rhode Island’s six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was 4.5 percent, a slight increase from the revised 4.1 percent rate in December.
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.