Leonard Lardaro is a Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island and the creator of the Current Conditions Index (CCI). He uses this index to measure the strength of the present economic 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 indicates some improvement in key indicators such as Government Employment, Private Service-Producing Employment, Total Manufacturing Hours, Manufacturing Wage and Labor Force participation. However, Lardaro expressed concern about Retail Sales, which only increased by .02 percent and the potential impact of federal stimulus money ending on balancing the state budget and potentially leading to an economic slowdown.
Lardaro is available for broadcast and print interviews and will be blogging about the new labor data in the coming weeks. Individuals can contact him at his office at 401-874-4128 or his home at 401-783-9563. Additional information and historical data on the CCI can be found online at http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm. Dawn Bergantino from URI’s Department of Communications and Marketing can also be contacted for more information at 401-874-4147.