Professor: State’s economy has downshifted into first gear

July 15, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A University of Rhode Island economics professor says the state’s economy has “downshifted into first gear.”

Leonard Lardaro said Monday that while seven of 12 indicators he tracks with his Current Conditions Index have shown improvement, none are particularly strong except for retail sales.

Lardaro says that after a significant, temporary contraction in February, Rhode Island’s economy remains where it has been since March.

The index value for May remained at 58 for the third consecutive month. A value above 50 shows the economy is expanding. The index ranges from zero, when no indicators improved compared to a year prior, to 100, when all indicators improve.

Lardaro no longer believes Rhode Island may be entering an early stage of recession, but says its tepid economic performance is cause for concern.