By FLO JONIC
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A University of Rhode Island economist says the state seems to be on the verge of economic recovery.
URI economist Leonard Lardaro, who publishes a monthly assessment of a dozen key economic indicators, says manufacturing hours rose by two hours a week in July and retail sales grew for a sixth straight month--- both signs that the economy is on the rebound.
"Although I'm not ready to make the call I can't rule out that there's a possibility Rhode Island is in the earliest stages of an economic recovery," Lardaro says. "I think we need a little more time and data to make that call though."
Lardaro cautions that recovery will be a slow process. He says it will take Rhode Island seven to eight years to restore all the jobs that have been lost.