Economic Indicators
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The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Rhode Island dropped to 8.7 percent in March, according to statistics released Thursday by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training. Still higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent for March, the Rhode Island figure is the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, the DLT said in a release. more
With the onset of spring, New England businesses are relying on improved consumer confidence and higher sales to drive economic recovery after a difficult first quarter affected by severe winter weather, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book released Wednesday. more
The number of Americans filling for unemployment insurance payments last week hovered near the lowest level in almost seven years, showing the job market is making progress. more
Gains in manufacturing are helping power the U.S. out of the winter doldrums, while homebuilding shows signs of lagging behind. more
Individual default rates in the U.S. have dropped to their lowest level since before the financial crisis as consumer confidence rises and first-time jobless claims fall. more
Rhode Island’s economic outlook ranked No. 41 among the 50 U.S. states according to the 2014 ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index released Tuesday by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Rhode Island’s ranking at No. 41 in the 2014 report was an improvement over last year, when the Ocean State landed at No. 45. more
The Consumer Price Index in the Northeast rose 1.5 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis during the 12 months ended in March, matching the increase in the national index during the same time period, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. more
The U.S. government’s deficit will fall to $492 billion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a steeper drop than originally predicted from $680 billion in fiscal year 2013. more
Gasoline prices rose a penny in Rhode Island and Massachusetts this week, but prices in both states were lower than the national average for the first time in 10 months, according to the weekly survey by AAA Southern New England. more
Retail sales increased in March by the most since September 2012 as Americans bought more cars, clothing and garden supplies, helping the economy recover from a weather-depressed start to the year. more
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