PROVIDENCE, RI – The head of the Rhode Island Retail Federation has a pessimistic view of holiday sales in the Ocean State. While the National Retail Federation is predicting a robust four percent growth in holiday sales, Paul DeRoche, director of the Rhode Island Retail Federation, expects it to be half that locally. "The economy is slow. Consumer confidence is not that great. So I think we'll have about a 1.5% to 2% growth over last year."

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is out with its annual hunger report. Rhode Island now outranks Maine for having the highest level of food insecurity in New England.

PROVIDENCE, RI – An infusion of 110 million in federal dollars will help to extend the main runway at T.F. Green Airport over the next five years. The money will also pay to mitigate noise and improve safety standards at the airport.

Senator Jack Reed was joined by local and state officials in announcing the availability of the money. Reed calls it an important step for improving one of the state's big economic generators.

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Foundation has rolled out a list of projects it would like to see worked on as part of its Make It Happen initiative. Hundreds of leaders in business, health care, the arts and other industry brain stormed for two days last month on ways to turn around the state's economy.

Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – Gasoline prices are up in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts; although the prices are slightly better in Massachusetts.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Some 500 veterans are expected to converge on to Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland this weekend for Operation Stand Down. The camp gives at-risk veterans a chance to tap into some much-needed services.

Photo by: Flo Jonic

PROVIDENCE, RI – State Treasurer Gina Raimondo is lending her support to ballot question 7, which would allow the state to borrow 25 million dollars for affordable housing. The funds would be matched five fold in grants and donations from other sources.

Backers of the measure feel confident it will pass.

Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – University of Rhode Island Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro has released his monthly report on the state's economy. Lardaro says the July numbers show both good news and bad news.

"What a bizarre situation Rhode Island finds itself in the acceleration in activity that everyone here had been so eagerly awaiting has already occurred and is in the process of disappearing!" Those are the words used by Professor Lardaro in summarizing the start of the third quarter.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Moody's is taking a shine to Central Falls' plan to dig itself out of bankruptcy. The bond rating agency released a report that applauds the city's five-year plan.

Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – The data is mixed on Rhode Island home sales, but the news is mostly good for single home sales.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors reports that home sales were 22 percent higher in July over the same month last year. In addition although the median price was down, it was down just 1 percent. The Association says this means prices are beginning to stabilize.

Photo by: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's unemployment rate edged down slightly in July.

Rhode Island's jobless rate dipped slightly from 10.9 percent in June to 10.8 percent in July. It was the third consecutive monthly decrease and the lowest rate since May 2009.

Some 60-thousand Rhode Islanders remain out of work, the lowest number in three years.

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.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Gas prices continue to rise in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, that's according to the weekly survey of gas prices out of AAA Southern New England.

A gallon of regular unleaded jumped seven cents in the Ocean State, now costing on average $3.75 a gallon. That's 21 cents more than what drivers were paying last month, and a nickel above the national average.


PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island International Film Festival is now officially over. The Festival reports a record-breaking year in attendance for ticket buyers and filmmakers.

RIIFF Executive Director George Marshall says "It's simply been an incredible year for us."

The Film Festival showed 200 films, from 51 countries, from 32 states. Those 200 were culled from 4700 submissions. During the Festival 28 world premieres were held.