Economic Activity Index down 6.8% Y-O-Y in November
The island’s Economic Activity Index reached 115.1 points in November, representing a 6.8% contraction when compared to November 2019, and the ninth reduction after 20 year-over-year consecutive increments, the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank revealed.
The EDB-EAI decreased by 0.4% when compared to the previous month.
EDB President Pablo G. Muñiz-Reyes said the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic caused job losses and complicated the operation in the health sector, which is why the government faces new challenges.
“These include developing other strategies that encourage economic activity, investing in small and medium-sized businesses to accelerate the recovery of displaced jobs,” he said.
To reach pre-pandemic levels, the economic activity requires a consistent multi-sector recovery pace, a challenging assumption that is currently dependent on finding ways to invigorate the economy without furthering the COVID-19 spread, according to the report.
During fiscal year 2020, the EDB-EAI decreased by 2% when compared to Fiscal 2019 and dropped 7.1% during the July–November period of Fiscal 2021. However, an increment of 1.6% was registered during calendar year 2019, the second consecutive annual positive growth after five years of uninterrupted reductions, though it contracted by 5.9% during the January-November period of 2020, according to the report.
“In cumulative terms, the EDB-EAI average for 2019 was 122.6,” he said. “This shows an increase of 1.6% against fiscal year 2020, the second consecutive annual growth after five years with consecutive annual reductions. However, the accumulated average of the EDB-EAI for the previous year ended at 119.6, which translates into a 2% decrease versus fiscal year 2019 (122.1 or +6.1%).”
The EDB-EAI is made up of four indicators: Total payroll employment; total electric power generation; cement sales; and gas consumption. In November 2020, cement sales increased by 4.3%, while payroll employment, total electric power generation and gas consumption dropped by 7.3%, 2.6% y de 9.5%, respectively. All results were compared to the same month in 2019.