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By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – An index of leading economic indicators for Rhode Island’s economy continued to decline in October.
The index, produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com, fell 0.2 percent to 118 in October; a reading of 100 is equivalent to the state’s economic activity in 2000.
The leading indicators index uses nine published statistics to forecast the direction of the state’s economy over the next three to six months, with positive numbers signaling growth and negative numbers signaling contraction.
The index also registered declines of 0.8 percent in August and September.
Only two of the nine indicators had positive contributions to the index in October: building permits and the interest rate spread.
The seven components with negative weight were: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, manufactured exports, regional consumer expectations, national stock prices, national orders index and state employment barometer.
The six-month growth rate, “a signal of turning points,” was 0.1 percent in October, after holding a rate of 1 percent in September. The long-term annual growth rate was 2.3 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.