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Leonard Lardaro, a professor of economics at the University of Rhode Island and creator of the Current Conditions Index, is eagerly awaiting new labor market data to provide a fuller picture of Rhode Island’s economic progress. The index measures the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island by following the behavior of 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. However, he is concerned about the weak improvement in Retail Sales, which was up only .02 percent. Lardaro also worries about the looming end of federal stimulus money and its potential impact on balancing the state budget and potentially leading to an economic slowdown. Despite these concerns, the CCI remains in an expansion value.

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 Individuals can contact him 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.

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