Introducing “The RI Cheat Sheet”—Start Your Monday with the Latest Numbers, Data, and Factoids

Monday, February 11, 2019


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“The RI Cheat Sheet” is a weekly feature about important and interesting numbers, data, and high-value factoids that impact Rhode Island and the economy. The weekly feature is a cheat sheet of business trends, government data and critical, hard-to-find information that can be buried in reports. 

1) Providence Residents' Dismal Credit Scores A new study unveils the average credit score in Providence is 649 -- the lowest 12 percentile in the United States. WalletHub compared the median credit scores of residents in 2,572 U.S. cities and Providence ranks 2,269.

2) Toy Problem According to data released this week, Hasbro stock took its lumps on Friday as it missed its numbers for Wall Street. "2018 was a very disruptive year, driven by the bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys R Us across most of the world and a rapidly shifting consumer and retail landscape," CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement. "During 2018, we diversified our retailer base, meaningfully lowered retailer inventories, and delivered innovative new offerings to our global consumers.” Revenue fell 13 percent to $1.39 billion in the quarter from $1.6 billion a year earlier. Analysts had forecast revenue of $1.52 billion.

3) Bad Projections Sports betting was budgeted by Governor Gina Raimondo’s Administration to generate $23.5 million or $1.9 million a month. Then, it started months late due to delays caused by IGT (formerly GTECH) and Twin River. Then, the state dropped the projection to $11.5 million. In the first five weeks, the state realized just $500,000 -- less than 40 percent of the revised $1.43M a month.

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Hasbro's latest missed projections

4) Homeless Decrease In 1994, the homelessness problem hit a high point of 5,300. According to a study by Eric L. Hirsch, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Providence College, the number of homeless in Rhode Island in 2017 was 4,500. The problem remains but down 15 percent over the past 25 years. He writes, “The need for additional resources to advance toward our goal of ending homelessness is clear, particularly for families and for those experiencing long-term homelessness. Increasing investments in temporary and permanent rental subsidies, additional new or rehabilitated very low-income housing units, and funding for supportive services will decrease the need for high cost, emergency services."

5) Axe Litigation In Lincoln, Rhode Island, a go-kart track is opening an axe-throwing facility.  The trend is the latest addition to bars and clubs around the country -- and there are a growing number of lawsuits relating to axe throwing incidents gone wrong. The most infamous is the lawsuit that is the outcome of a Fox and Friends demo gone wrong.


6) Politico Lucchino Larry Lucchino, Chairman of the Pawtucket Red Sox, has also been a vibrant political donor over the years donating more than $75,000 in campaign donations to federal officials over the past couple of decades -- Jack Reed and Patrick Kennedy both received political donations from Lucchino.

7) Artificial Intelligence is Here and Your Job May Be Leaving Think your job is safe and cannot be replaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Guess again, “Suncor Energy has announced that it will eliminate approximately 400 full-time positions at mining sites in northern Alberta as they deploy a fleet of 150 autonomous trucks over the next few years.” 

8) RI Spending Up 27% Rhode Island’s State budget for FY 2011 with a $7.8 billion budget bill passed in June 2010 —the proposed budget for FY2020 is a 27 percent increase.

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9) Federal Debt Up and Away  CBO’s summary long-term outlook shows debt rising to 152 percent of the economy by 2049. Likewise, deficits will more than double from today to at least 9 percent of GDP by 2049.

10) J.D. Power Ranks the Retail Banks  Bank of America ranks highest in customer satisfaction with retail banking advice with a score of 839. PNC ranks second with a score of 833 and Wells Fargo ranks third with a score of 828.

The industry average is 819. Citizens Bank scored 789, Santander 781 and TD Bank ranks last at 772.

11) Restaurants Closing in Boston - Could It Hit Providence Too?  The Boston Globe reports, "Sometimes it seems as if all of Boston’s restaurants are closing. L’Espalier, home of the extravagant tasting menu and one of the best cheese carts in town. Durgin-Park in Faneuil Hall, a bastion of Yankee cooking for nearly 200 years. Erbaluce, named the best Italian restaurant of 2018 by Boston magazine. Cultivar, which brought a farm-to-table sensibility to a downtown hotel. The announcements land one after another, a series of gut punches to those who care about dining and the health of small business in this town. Why are all these restaurants closing? Why now?"


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