Lardaro: CCI contracts in Sept. despite promising improvements

THE CURRENT CONDITIONS Index for Rhode Island in September was 58, indicating economic expansion despite reflecting a slowdown from one year prior. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO
THE CURRENT CONDITIONS Index for Rhode Island in September was 58, indicating economic expansion despite reflecting a slowdown from one year prior. / COURTESY LEONARD LARDARO

PROVIDENCE – The Current Conditions Index value for Rhode Island in September was 58, a decline from 75 one year prior, according to University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro Monday.

A value above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a value under 50 represents contraction.

Lardaro said that while the overall CCI value appears to be a disappointment, declining from 83 in July and 67 in August, the underlying indicators reflect some promising developments.

Lardaro maintained that the short-term success of the Rhode Island economy remains tied to the economic performance of Massachusetts and the country at large.

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Seven of the 12 indicators improved year over year. Two of the poor-performing indicators, total manufacturing hours and benefit exhaustions, were labeled as “particularly worrisome.”

Lardaro’s “greatest concern” for the Ocean State’s economic status was the performance of the local goods-producing sector.

Despite this, Lardaro said improvements in resident employment, employment rate and labor force participation were good signs for the local economy.

Year-over-year improvements of CCI indicators:

  • Government employment increased 0.7%
  • Single-unit permits increased 53.1%
  • Retail sales increased 10.7%
  • Employment services jobs increased 8.2%
  • Private service-producing employment increased 2.1%
  • Manufacturing wage increased 3.2%
  • The unemployment rate declined 0.3%

Year-over-year performance of CCI indicators that failed to improve:

  • United States consumer sentiment declined 7.2%
  • Total manufacturing hours declined 5.8%
  • The labor force declined 0.1%
  • Benefit exhaustions increased 16%
  • New claims for unemployment insurance increased 3.1%

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