RI economic outlook looks dim

PROVIDENCE, RI – One local observer says economic uncertainty makes the possibility of a double-dip recession more likely in Rhode Island.

For the last year or so, University of Rhode Island economics professor Leonard Lardaro says he thought the state had a one in three chance of sliding back into recession. Now, slowing economic growth and Standard and Poor's downgrade of the US credit rating have changed Lardaro's view.

"In light of what's happening globally and some of the other fiscal problems here, I sadly have to upgrade that to one chance in two," he says.

Lardaro says rating agencies like Standard and Poor's bear part of the blame for the housing bubble and the national recession that followed. But he says the S&P downgrade may cause higher interest rates for borrowing by cities and towns and state government.

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