economy

R.I. leading economic indicators up

COURTESY E-FORECASTING.COM/PBN
AN index of leading economic indicators for Rhode Island’s economy reversed a three-month decline in November.
Posted 1/4/12

PROVIDENCE - An index of leading economic indicators for Rhode Island’s economy reversed a three-month decline in November.

The index, produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com, rose 0.09 percent to 118 in November; a reading of 100 is equivalent to the state’s economic activity in 2000. Previously, the index registered three months of declines: October, down 0.26 percent, and September and August both registered declines of 0.82 percent.

The leading indicators index uses nine published statistics to forecast the direction of the state’s economy over the next three to six months, with positive numbers signaling growth and negative numbers signaling contraction.

Only three of the nine components contributed negatively in November: unemployment claims, regional consumer expectations, and the state employment barometer.

The six that had positive contributions were: weekly hours in manufacturing, building permits, manufactured exports, national stock prices, interest rate spread and national orders index.

The six-month growth rate, “a signal of turning points,” recorded a negative 0.5 percent in November, after holding a negative 0.2 percent in October. That compares to a long-term annual growth rate of 2.3 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.

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