Report: R.I. economic recovery is growing but ‘fragile’

REVISED DATA FROM THE Current Economic Indicator report shows improved growth during the first and second quarters of 2012.
Posted 11/13/12

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s economy grew faster in the first and second quarters of 2012 than originally published, according to the third-quarter Current Economic Indicator report, published by the R.I. Public Expenditure Council and Bryant University.

The report’s leading indicator, which projects the state’s next quarter of growth, estimated that Rhode Island’s economic recovery will increase at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent, more than three times higher than previous estimates.

The CEI for the third quarter increased by a 1.7 percent annualized rate, up from the revised growth of 1.1 percent during the second quarter. This 1.7 percent rate of expansion represents the highest rate of growth since the CEI was first published in 2010.

Despite what the report calls “encouraging revisions,” Rhode Island’s economic expansion “remains below the level to significantly impact the state’s jobs picture, and remains below national and regional growth.”

“Rhode Island must make strategic investments in its economy that will move the needle on job creation,” John Simmons, executive director of RIPEC, said in prepared remarks. “While we expect that the jobs picture is not as bleak as official estimates from the [U.S.] Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate, it is clear that Rhode Island is lagging the region and the nation when it comes to economic recovery.”

Over the third quarter, the Ocean State economy saw a 17.1 percent gain in leisure and hospitality employment, versus a 3.95 percent gain in the second quarter, as well as gains in construction employment, which more than doubled versus the previous quarter. The state’s unemployment claims also dropped, while state general sales and gross receipts taxes increased.

The state was negatively affected by declines in employment in the professional and business services, total wages and salaries, and the trade, transportation and utilities industries.

To see the full report, click HERE.

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