Manufacturing Industry Index Exceeds Pre-Covid Level
Economic Development Chief Industry Proved Resilient Amid Pandemic
SAN JUAN — Economic Development Secretary Manuel Cidre announced that activity in Puerto Rico’s manufacturing industry has steadily risen over the past 10 months and has now exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Manufacturing Coincident Indicator Index (IICM by its Spanish initials) in February, prepared by his department’s Economic Analysis and Business Intelligence Office.
“The manufacturing sector is recovering and has been resilient to the Covid-19 crisis. It is one of the economic sectors that has best endured the difficulties,” the Economic Development and Commerce Department (DDEC by its Spanish initials) official said in a press release. “We are confident that this trend will continue to move forward.”
The DDEC secretary said industrial activity in February increased 0.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, over January, registering at 104.1 points, reflecting growth for the 10th consecutive month. In addition, when comparing the February index with the same month last year, reveals a 0.2 percent increase.
“This is the first increase in the index at an annual rate since the pandemic began, leaving behind a 10-month period of declines at an annual rate in the index, due to the effects related to COVID-19 at a local, national and international level,” Cidre said.
On the other hand, so far in fiscal year 2021, the cumulative average for the first eight months shows that activity in the manufacturing industry has dropped by 1.6 percent compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year.
“It should be noted that this period of consecutive hikes at a monthly rate and experienced over the past 10 months has reduced the index decline by 2.3 percentage points since fiscal year 2021 began,” Cidre said. “Analyzing the average value of the calendar year for the first two months of 2021, industrial activity shows that it has remained unaltered from the same period of the previous year, even though industrial activity was in a period of growth, [the island] then experienced the seismic events of January 2020 and just before the economic and social effects of COVID-19 began.”
The DDEC chief also said the projection is that indexes will continue to increase progressively and that both the manufacturing industry and many others will regain strength.
“We are very attentive to each and every one of them and working together to provide them with the support they need,” Cidre added.