Updated May 27 at 7:27pm

R.I.’s leading economic indicators edge upward in September

An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com rose 0.6 percent in September to 123.3 from 122.6 in August. More

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R.I.’s leading economic indicators edge upward in September

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PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators produced by Providence Business News and e-forecasting.com rose 0.6 percent in September to 123.3 from 122.6 in August.

A reading of 100 on the Providence Business News/e-forecasting.com Leading Economic Indicator Index is equivalent to the state’s activity in 2000. In September 2012, the leading indicator index was 119.3.

The 0.6 percent increase in September followed an increase of 0.5 percent in August, signifying a slight acceleration of the coming economic growth in the state. September was the fifth consecutive month of improvement in Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators.

The economic indicator index uses nine statistics to forecast the direction of the state’s economy over the next three to six months. Positive numbers signal growth while negative numbers denote contraction.

Seven of the nine components made a positive contribution to Rhode Island’s economy in September, including: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, manufacturing exports, regional consumer expectations, national stock prices, the interest rate spread and the national orders index.

Two of the components made a negative contribution to index in September, including building permits and the state employment barometer.

In September, Rhode Island’s six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was 3.6 percent, a slight rise over August’s revised rate of 3 percent.

By comparison, the long-term annual growth rate for the index was 2 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.

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