Lardaro: ‘Abysmal’ R.I. February CCI potential sign of oncoming recession

THE RHODE ISLAND CCI VALUE in February was 42, indicating contraction. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO
THE RHODE ISLAND CCI VALUE in February was 42, indicating contraction. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO

PROVIDENCE – The Current Conditions Index for Rhode Island was 42 in February, indicating contraction, according to University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro Monday.

The CCI measures several local and national economic indicators. A value below 50 indicates contraction while a value over 50 indicates economic expansion.

Lardaro called the economic indicators in February “abysmal.” Following revisions for the previous year, the CCI in February 2018 was valued at 100, the highest possible score. The value in January was 75.

He said February’s figures could be the indication that the economy is headed toward a recession but noted the state isn’t there yet, however it might not be far away. Lardaro emphasized the next few months of indicators will be important to watch.

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Of the 12 indicators, only five were noted to have improved values year over year.

Improved year-over-year leading indicator values in February:

  • Government employment increased 0.5%
  • Retail sales increased 6.3%
  • Employment-services jobs increased 0.9%
  • Manufacturing wage increased 2.5%
  • Unemployment rate declined 0.4%

Worsened year-over-year leading indicator values in February:

  • United States consumer sentiment declined 5.9%
  • Single-unit permits declined 11.7%
  • Private service-producing employment declined 0.3%
  • Total manufacturing hours declined 6.9 percent
  • State labor force declined 0.1%
  • Benefit exhaustions increased 0.2%
  • New unemployment claims increased 5.7%

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. You may reach him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.