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NEW: RI Economy Continues to Grow, Report Says

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Based on the Rhode Island Current Economic Indicator (CEI) for the third quarter of 2012, Rhode Island’s economy in the first and second quarters of the year expanded faster than previously published. The leading indicator, which projects the next quarter growth rate, estimates the state economy will increase at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent, more than three times higher than previous estimates.

According to a briefing released today by Bryant University and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC), the CEI for the third quarter of 2012 increased by 1.7 percent (annualized), up from 1.1 percent growth rate the quarter prior (revised upward from 0.4 percent). This rate of economic expansion represents the highest rate of growth since the CEI was first published in 2010.

Despite the encouraging revisions, however, economic expansion in the state remains below the level to significantly impact the state’s jobs picture, and remains below national and regional growth. “Rhode Island must make strategic investments in its economy that will move the needle on job creation,” said John Simmons, executive director of RIPEC. “While we expect that the jobs picture is not as bleak as official estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate, it is clear that Rhode Island is lagging the region and the nation when it comes to economic recovery.”

Factors that gave the Ocean State’s economy a boost over the past quarter include gains in leisure and hospitality employment, which increased by 17.1 percent in the third quarter compared to 3.95 percent in the second quarter, and gains in construction employment, which more than doubled compared to the quarter prior. Unemployment claims decreased in the third quarter, while state general sales and gross receipts taxes increased. On the down side, employment in the professional and business services and trade, transportation and utilities industries declined in the third quarter, as did real total wages and salaries.


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