PROVIDENCE – Economic data service e-forecasting.com has released a study that projects Rhode Island is in the midst of a real gross state product trough that will moderate only slightly in 2014 and that the state only will see substantial growth in its economy begin in 2015.
At the same time that the U.S. economy saw a real, annual gross domestic product growth rate of 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, Rhode Island’s gross state product was declining at an annual rate of one-half percent, according to economic date provider. In fact, e-forecasting.com expects that the Ocean State’s economy will contract on a constant dollar, annual basis at rates of three-tenths of a percent, then, seven-tenths of a percent and one-tenth of a percent in the first three quarters of 2014, finally showing growth of one-half a percent in the fourth quarter of the year.
Next year is expected to be a much better one for Rhode Island, with annual growth rates of 1 percent, 1.4 percent, 1.7 percent and 2 percent consecutively in the four quarters of 2015, with the first two quarters of 2016 improving to annual growth rates of 2.2 percent and then 2.3 percent.
E-forecasting.com sees positive, if modest GDP growth for the United States in the same time period, starting with growth of 1.8 percent in the 2014 first quarter, followed by growth of 1.7 percent, 1 percent and eight-tenths of a percent to finish out the year. Starting with the 2015 first-quarter growth of 1.7 percent, the forecaster sees subsequent annual, constant-dollar growth rates of 1.8 percent, 2 percent and 2.2 percent in 2015 and 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent in the first two quarters of 2016.
The GSP forecast contained a number of sector breakouts, two of which showed contrasting expectations for the near future. For instance, the forecast for retail sales showed year-over-year declines of six-tenths of a percent in both the first and third quarters of 2014, sandwiched by 1.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 and growth of 1.2 percent in both the second and fourth quarters of 2014. Growth in retail sales was then projected to grow at an accelerating rate in 2015, starting at 1.2 percent, then going to 1.8 percent, 2.2 percent and 2.5 percent, before reaching 2.8 percent and 3 percent in the first two quarters of 2016.
On the other hand, sales of motor vehicles and parts are expected to grow 2.6 percent year over year in the 2014 first quarter, following a 2.2 percent gain in the fourth quarter of last year, with growth in future quarters speeding up. The second quarter of 2014 is forecast to show 3.1 percent of year-over-year growth, followed by 3.6 and 4 percent to round out the year. 2015 is expected to produce growth of 4.4 percent, 5 percent, 5.7 percent and 6.5 percent, with growth of 7.1 and 7.5 percent in the first two quarters of 2016.
One final projection showed more choppy water in 2014: per capita disposable personal income. On a seasonally adjusted, constant-dollar basis, the fourth quarter saw a year-over-year decline of 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. This year is expected to be better but inconsistent, with growth of 1 percent, nine-tenths of a percent, 0 percent and 1.6 percent in the year’s four quarters. Next year shows improvement, with gains of 1.5, 1.7, 1.8 and 2.1 percent in the year’s four quarters, with growth of 2.4 and 2.7 percent in the first two quarters of 2016.
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