Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Economic activity in Puerto Rico remains uninterrupted for 7 months

By on August 6, 2018

SAN JUAN – According to the Economic Activity Index (IAE) prepared by the Economic Development Bank (EDB), the index hit 121.7 in June, a 1% increase over May but a 0.8% slip when compared with June 2017.

The general economic activity indicator has reflected an upward trend for seven consecutive months. It was first published in January 1980, when an IAE of 100 was established.

The four main indicators that make up the EAI are nonfarm payroll employment, electric-power generation, gasoline consumption and cement sales, with the latter two reflecting a year-over-year upward trend.

Average nonfarm payroll employment for June was 851,400 employees, a reduction of 0.2% compared with the previous month and 3.5% compared with June 2017. By June 2018, 1.2 million 94-pound cement bags were sold, which is 4% less than sold in May, but a substantial increase, 23.4%, compared with June last year.

Estimated gas consumption in June was 89.4 million gallons, an increase of 8.3% over May and of 8.1% when compared with June 2017. Some 1.53 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) was produced in June, which is 6.2% more than the previous month, but 8.3% less than in June 2017.

The EAI correlates with Puerto Rico’s real gross national product (GNP) in terms of levels and annual growth rates, but is “not a direct measurement of real GNP,” the EDB explains, and its annual growth rate is not the same as the annual growth rate of real GNP. It uses a methodology similar to what is used by the Conference Board—an international research group—in its coincident index of the U.S. economy.

Puerto Rico economic activity continues to rise