RIPEC: RI sluggish economic growth so far in 2012

PROVIDENCE, RI – A new economic report finds there is more grim news on the Rhode Island economy. The business-backed Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council says the state's economic growth slowed significantly in the first half of the year.

The report also says there appears to be no relief in the short term. RIPEC research director Ashley Denault says a low-skilled workforce coupled with uncertainty about continuation of the Bush tax cuts is causing businesses to hold back on hiring.

"I think there are some big questions about where the country is going to go and what's going to happen over the next couple of months," says Denault. "Sequestration, which is the across-the-board budget cuts are hanging over everybody's heads and people are very worried about that at least on the political side of things so there's a number of factors that are contributing to uncertainty."

RIPEC is advising the administration of Gov. Lincoln Chafee to keep a close eye on revenues to ensure the current budget remains balanced.

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