University of Rhode Island Economist Leonard Lardaro is the creator and author of the Current Conditions Index (CCI), which is used to measure the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island. The CCI follows 12 indicators, including Government Employment, Private Service-Producing Employment, Total Manufacturing Hours, Manufacturing Wage and Labor Force participation. In December, Lardaro stated that Rhode Island’s economy held relatively steady, but he is awaiting revised labor market data for a fuller picture of the state’s economic progress. While some key indicators showed improvement in December, Retail Sales only increased by .02 percent, which has raised concerns among economists. Additionally, the looming end of federal stimulus money may make it more difficult to balance the state budget and potentially lead to an economic slowdown.
Lardaro is available for broadcast and print interviews and will be blogging about the new labor data during the coming weeks. Additional information and historical data can be found online at http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm. Individuals can contact Leonard Lardaro at his office at 401-874-4128 or his home at 401-783-9563 for more information or to schedule an interview with him about this topic. Dawn Bergantino from the URI Department of Communications and Marketing can also be contacted at 401-874-4147 if you have any other questions or requests related to this story.