Updated March 23 at 6:27pm

R.I.’s leading economic indicators index rises 0.5%


PROVIDENCE – An index of Rhode Island’s leading economic indicators rose 0.5 percent in July, following a June decline of 0.1 percent.

The Providence Business News/e-forecasting.com index for the state reached 118.8 in July. 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 July, six of the nine components made positive contributions to the index: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, building permits, national stock prices, interest rate spread, and the state employment barometer.

The components contributing negatively to the index were: manufactured exports, regional consumer expectations, and the national orders index.

The six-month, annualized growth rate, a signal of turning points, went up by an annual rate of 7.3 percent in July, after an increase of 7.4 percent in June. This compares with a long-term annual growth rate of 1.8 percent, the same as the annual growth rate of the state’s overall economic activity.


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