Leonard Lardaro, a Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island, is the creator and author of the Current Conditions Index (CCI). This index is used to measure the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island by tracking 12 key indicators.
In December, Lardaro stated that Rhode Island’s economy held relatively steady, but he is waiting for revised labor market data to provide a fuller picture of the state’s economic progress. Existing data paints a somewhat disappointing picture with a December CCI of 58. However, there are some positive signs as key indicators such as Government Employment, Private Service-Producing Employment, Total Manufacturing Hours, Manufacturing Wage and Labor Force participation have shown improvement.
Lardaro’s concern lies in the weak improvement of Retail Sales, which was up only .02 percent. Additionally, he is concerned about the looming end of federal stimulus money and its potential impact on balancing the state budget and potentially leading to an economic slowdown. Despite this concern, Lardaro notes that the CCI remains in an expansion value.
Lardaro is available for broadcast and print interviews and will be blogging about new labor data during upcoming weeks. Additional information and historical data can be found online at http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm. For more information or to schedule an interview with Lardaro, please contact him at his office at 401-874-4128 or his home phone number at 401-783-9563 or Dawn Bergantino from the URI Department of Communications and Marketing at 401-874-4147.