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Retail sales in Puerto Rico improving, Economic Development secretary says

By on April 15, 2019

Points to car sales, reopened hotels, company expansions and film industry after 2017 hurricanes

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy Rivera said Monday that retail sales, including the auto industry, in Puerto Rico, are going well.

“Everything that has to do with…retail sales, where the vehicle sales segment is, we have been reporting for a few months that the numbers look good,” Laboy said to questions from the press.

“There is no doubt that after the hurricane, what has to do with emergency funds and little by little the recovery funds, which are federal funds, has had its positive effects,” he added.

The official mentioned that the Economic Development and Commerce Department is undertaking efforts and structural measures to improve the business climate in Puerto Rico.

“We have been issuing a series of announcements for the past 12 to 18 months. From the expansion of hotels that had closed and reopened, the expansions” such as Honeywell’s, Point Black in Guánica, the acquisition of companies, among others,” he said.

“These are positive numbers, positive metrics that indicate that the economy is going on a recovery direction,” he said, noting that the film industry in Puerto Rico has grown significantly.

“When you go looking for all those jigsaw puzzle pieces, we are assembling them; they tell a story of optimism…that Puerto Rico is on a path toward economic growth,” Laboy said.

He explained that half of the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG – DR) Program funds, some $10 billion, has already been approved and will help to foster the improvement of the local economy.

“In Puerto Rico, we can invest and do business,” the secretary said, reiterating that auto sales have risen: “The sector itself is reflecting it is a very positive sector.”

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