PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators declined in August by 0.7 percent, following an increase of 0.5 percent in July.
The Providence Business News/e-forecasting.com index for the state reached 118.6 in August. 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.
In August four of the nine components made positive contributions to the index: building permits, manufactured exports, interest rate spread and the state employment barometer.
Five components weight negatively on the index: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, regional consumer expectations, national stock prices, and the national orders index.
The six-month growth rate, “a signal of turning points,” was 3.8 percent in August after a 6 percent rate in July. The long-term annual growth rate was 1.9 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.