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Rhode Island economy shows continued signs of recovery

July 14, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The state’s economy continues to make a strong comeback from the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic, a University of Rhode Island economics professor said Wednesday.

Leonard Lardaro said 11 of 12 indicators in his monthly Current Conditions Index improved in May compared to where they were in May of last year.

Rhode Island’s overall CCI value rose to 92 out of 100 in May, up from 75 in April.

Lardaro warned that despite recent economic improvement the state would likely not return to normal as it existed prior to the pandemic, but a changed situation caused by the loss of many small businesses, and structural changes in the way goods and services are produced.

Job gains were particularly strong. The state restored 55,700 jobs in May, relative to a loss of 1,700 jobs from a year ago. Total manufacturing hours, employment services jobs, single use permits and new claims for unemployment all showed significant improvement over May 2020, he said.

Lardaro also predicted an uneven recovery, especially if hould Rhode Island’s elected officials fail to improve the state’s business climate.