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P.R.’s economic activity down 4.2% year-over-year in February

The EAI year-over-year percent change for January and February were -7.4 percent and -4.2 percent, respectively.

Puerto Rico’s Economic Development Bank released the Economic Activity Index for the month of February 2018, which revealed a reduction of 4.2 percent, compared to the same month in 2017.

February ended with an EAI of 117.8, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to January 2018, when the index reached 113.5.

The EAI plunged by 9.2 percent for the first eight months of Fiscal 2018; and for the first two months of calendar year 2018 it fell by 5.8 percent, according to report now produced by the EDB, following the closure of the Government Development Bank.

The four main indicators that make up the IAE are: total non-farm payroll employment; cement sales; gasoline consumption; and, electricity generation.

The average non-farm payroll employment for February 2018 was 845,100, an annual reduction of 4.1 percent, when compared to February 2017.

In addition, in February 2018, 1.17 million, 94-pound bags of cement were sold, an increase of 13.1 percent, when compared to February 2017. The estimated gasoline consumption was 98.3 million gallons, registering a significant increase of 27 percent over the figure for February 2017. Electricity generation was 1,058.3 million kWh in February 2018, a decrease of 27.3 percent, when compared to February 2017.

The results for January 2018 were: Total non-farm payroll employment averaged 842,400,an annual decrease of 4.4 percent; Electric power generation  totaled 1,160.1 million kWh, an annual decrease of 24.8 percent; Gasoline consumption was 105.0 million gallons, 45.9 percent above January 2017; and cement sales totaled 1 million, 94-pound bags, for an annual increase of 21.9 percent, according to the report.

The EAI is an indicator of economic activity and does not represent a direct measure of the island’s real Gross National Product. Rates of change in the indicator are not the same as the GNP, although the indicator has a high correlation with real GDP by allowing to monitor trends in the economy of Puerto Rico.

The EAI was formulated using a methodology similar to that used by the Conference Board in its coincident for the U.S. economy index.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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