Economist: It will take RI up to five years to recover from COVID-19 crisis

South County

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ An economist at the University of Rhode Island tells Eyewitness News he’s hopeful that the state has moved past the worst of the financial stress caused by COVID-19, but even so, he expects it will still take years to fully recover.

Leonard Lardaro said he believes it will take Rhode Island three-to-five years to fully recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Numbers will start to get better, but there’s some real threats ahead,” Lardaro said.

Those threats, Lardaro said, include the threat of a second spike in cases.

Lardaro said Rhode Island saw it’s lowest economic condition within the past decade during the month of May.

He predicts that the next few years will be a defining moment for local businesses.

“Rhode Island really has to redefine itself,” he said.

Lardaro also said Rhode Island’s low incidence of COVID-19 and high testing percentage have helped in the state’s economic recovery.

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