Lardaro: R.I. may be in early ‘recovery on hold’

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Current Conditions Index continued to remain low in November at a value of 25, but marked an improvement from a value of 17 in October, University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro said on Wednesday.

One year prior, the CCI value was 58. An index value above 50 indicates expansion, while a value below 50 indicates contraction.

Month to month, five of the 12 indicators that comprise the index improved, while the remainder remained unchanged or worsened. Year over year, three indicators improved, while the remainder declined.

“Things have been abysmal since the pandemic hit, but not as bad as the initial few months. Amid fiscal and monetary policy measures that helped boost our state’s economy, we began to move upward,” said Lardaro in the report. “On a yearly basis, though, we remain very far below where we were, or for that matter, where I ever thought we would be.”

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Despite the poor performance of the CCI over the year, Lardaro also said that there is a “possibility that Rhode Island is in the earliest stages of a recovery on hold for now. Perhaps the new fiscal stimulus will soon change this.”

Performance of individual CCI indicators year over year:

  • Government employment declined 2.9%
  • U.S. consumer sentiment declined 20.5%
  • Single-user permits increased 34.3%
  • Retail sales increased 10%
  • Employment service jobs declined 14.3%
  • Private service production employment declined 9%
  • Total manufacturing hours declined 6.2%
  • Manufacturing wage increased 9.5%
  • Labor force declined 2.9%
  • Benefit exhaustions rose 578.7%
  • New claims rose 447.5%
  • Unemployment rate declined 3.8%

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