Lardaro: R.I. CCI index dips in Nov.

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s Current Conditions Index fell to 67 in November, a 16-point drop from the previous year, according to a report released Monday by University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro.

November’s index also comes in 16 points lower than October’s value of 83, which tied for July for the year’s highest mark.

A value of 50 or above indicates economic expansion, while below 50 indicates contraction.

While Lardaro said fourth-quarter numbers appear to act as evidence of difficulty in sustaining economic momentum, he pointed out that labor market data from August through December is often revised.

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“The periods most likely to be revised often show large jumps in payroll employment, reflecting rates of increase well beyond those of the preceding months,” Lardaro wrote. “I truly hope the existing values prove to be accurate and the underlying strength we are witnessing at present remains intact.”

Still, Lardaro warned, recent revisions, including those for the state’s gross domestic product, have “been nothing short of brutal,” reflecting lower numbers than initially thought.

Data revisions relevant to the CCI won’t be complete until February, according to the report.

In November, eight of the 12 indicators used to measure economic growth improved. Retail sales and employment services jobs turned in strong performances, and the unemployment rate remains at a low of 3.5%. The labor force continued to show improvement

Manufacturing hours fell for the fourteenth consecutive month, although the manufacturing wage rose.

CCI indicator changes year-over-year in November:

  • Government employment increased by 0.3%
  • U.S. consumer sentiment fell by 0.8%
  • Single-unit permits dropped by 18.1%
  • Retail sales rose by 4.4%
  • Employment services jobs showed a 4.5% increase
  • Private service-producing employment rose by 3.0%
  • Total manufacturing hours fell by 7.6%
  • The manufacturing wage showed a 1.4% increase
  • The labor force grew by 0.2%
  • Benefit exhaustions increased 1.9%
  • New claims dropped by 20%
  • Unemployment fell by 0.5%

 

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