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By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The Rhode Island economy performed well for a second consecutive month in November, raising the likelihood of a period of sustained growth, University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro said in his Current Conditions Index Monday.
“In November, Rhode Island’s economy sustained the jump in momentum we witnessed [in October], which was itself the best we had seen here for quite a while,” Lardaro said in the November report.
“What we appear to be witnessing is a trend of more broadly based economic activity that has generated increased economic momentum,” added Lardaro. “It thus appears that Rhode Island’s economy has now shifted into a higher gear.”
The Rhode Island economy registered a Current Conditions Index score of 75 using official labor market data and 83 under revised figures Lardaro considers more accurate. Any score above 50 represents positive momentum.
Of the 12 indicators measured by the CCI, nine improved in November, as they did in October.
November saw the second increase in the size of the state labor force, .4 percent, since 2010, Laradaro noted.
U.S. consumer sentiment rose 28.6 percent in November, while employment service jobs increased 7.2 percent and manufacturing wages climbed 6.8 percent. Retail sales continued steady improvement with a 6 percent increase, and new single-unit building permits rose 3 percent.
On the unemployment side, benefit exhaustions declined 12.3 percent and the state unemployment rate dropped .7 percent.
The three indicators that did not improve were government jobs, down 2.5 percent, private service production employment, down .2 percent, and new unemployment claims, which rose 1.6 percent.