December 2017 CCI drops to 75 to end year

THE DECEMBER 2017 Current Conditions Index measured the state's economy at 75, an 8 percent dip from November 2017. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO
THE DECEMBER 2017 Current Conditions Index measured the state's economy at 75, an 8 percent dip from November 2017. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – In his December Current Conditions Index, University of Rhode Island Economist Leonard Lardaro said 2017 had a “fairly strong” economic performance but closed on a “cautionary note.”

The December 2017 Current Conditions Index measured the state's economy at 75, an 8 percent dip from November 2017. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO
The December 2017 Current Conditions Index measured the state’s economy at 75, an 8 percent dip from November 2017. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO

In the final month of 2017, the CCI fell eight points to 75 from where its standing at 83 in November.

“That’s still a very favorable value, which ironically is tied for the lowest value of 2017,” said Lardaro in his report.

Three months of 2017 – January, September and December – had measures of 75. The high came in March at 92 and each of the eight remaining months measured 83.

- Advertisement -

In December, Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent to 4.4 percent and nine of the 11 below indicators in Lardaro’s CCI improved.

  • In its third consecutive increase, Employment Service Jobs rose 1 percent.
  • A proxy for manufacturing output, Total Manufacturing Hours increased by 8 percent – what Lardaro called an “amazing” rise.
  • New Claims, a timely measure of layoffs, sustained its downward trend falling 11.3 percent.
  • Falling 2.2 percent, U.S. Consumer Sentiment ended its 13-month consecutive climb.
  • Reflecting new home construction, Single-Unit Permits “fell sharply” by 31.6 percent.
  • There was a 3.2 percent jump in Retail Sales.
  • There was a 0.3 percent dip in Government Employment.
  • Manufacturing Wage climbed 1.9 percent in December.
  • Lardaro called the 0.4 percent increase in Private Service-Producing Employment in December “sluggish.”
  • Benefit Exhaustion, which reflects longer-term unemployment dipped by 7.4 percent.
  • The Labor Force rose by 0.8 percent – its tenth consecutive improvement over the year.
The December 2017 Current Conditions Index measured the state's economy at 75, an 8 percent dip from November 2017. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO
The December 2017 Current Conditions Index measured the state’s economy at 75, an 8 percent dip from November 2017. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO

Of the marathon improvement made by the Labor Force indicator, Lardaro said: “[It is] a very big deal for Rhode Island, although a normal occurrence for every other state.”

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.