By Kimberley Donoghue PBN Web Editor Twitter: @kdonog
PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators increased 0.3 percent in December.
The index, produced by e-forecasting.com and Providence Business News, rose to 118.6. A reading of 100 is equivalent to the state’s activity in 2000. In November, the index registered a 0.2 percent increase.
The 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.
Six of the nine statistics had positive contributions to the index, including: weekly hours in manufacturing, manufactured exports, national stock prices, the interest rate spread, the national orders index and the state employment barometer.
Three statistics had negative contributions: unemployment claims, building permits and regional consumer expectations.
The six-month growth rate – “a signal of turning points” – was 0.5 percent in December, after holding a rate of 0.3 percent in November. By comparison, the long-term annual growth rate was 2.3 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.