Leonard Lardaro, a professor of economics at the University of Rhode Island, is the creator and author of the Current Conditions Index (CCI), an economic indicator that measures the strength of the present climate in Rhode Island by following 12 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. The CCI for December was 58, which paints a somewhat disappointing picture. However, some key indicators showed improvement including Government Employment, Private Service-Producing Employment, Total Manufacturing Hours, Manufacturing Wage and Labor Force participation.
Lardaro expressed concern about the weak improvement of Retail Sales, which was up only .02 percent. Additionally, he is worried about the looming end of federal stimulus money and how it may impact balancing the state budget and potentially lead to an economic slowdown. Despite these concerns, Lardaro’s CCI remains in an expansion value.
Lardaro is available for broadcast and print interviews and will be blogging about the new labor data in the coming weeks. Additional information and historical data can be found online at http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm. Individuals can contact Lardaro at his office at 401-874-4128 or his home at 401-783-9563. Dawn Bergantino from the URI Department of Communications and Marketing can also be contacted at 401-874-4147 for more information.