Updated March 24 at 8:42am

Report: R.I. economic recovery is slowing


PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Current Economic Indicator for the second quarter of 2012 grew 0.4 percent, indicating that the Ocean State’s economic growth has slowed significantly in the first half of 2012, according to a report by Bryant University and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

According to the Bryant/RIPEC report, released Wednesday, the leading CEI indicates that in the short term at least, Rhode Island’s economic difficulties will continue.

The 0.4 percent annualized increase in 2012’s second quarter was only slightly higher than the revised 0.3 percent growth during the first quarter of the year. The report projects “continued lackluster growth” in the third quarter, at 0.5 percent.

“The data indicate that Rhode Island’s economy continues to struggle and there does not appear to be any relief in the short term” John Simmons, executive director of RIPEC, said in a statement. “As such, the administration should take a proactive review of revenues to ensure the current budget remains balanced.’

Bryant and RIPEC attributed the state’s slow growth to negative internal dynamics and a softening of the national and regional economies.

Nationally, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product increased at an annualized rate of 1.5 percent during the second quarter, a drop of 0.5 percentage points from the increase of 2 percent in the first quarter.

The regional CEI showed a “significant slowing in economic expansion between the first and second quarters of 2012,” according to the report. The growth rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter was just greater than half of the growth rate seen in the first quarter of 2012.

Employment in the trade, transportation and utilities sector as well as the professional and business services sector declined, despite seeing increases during the three months ended March 31, 2012.


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