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Economic Activity Index trend points to 1st annual growth since ’19

The Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank’s Economic Activity Index (EDB-EAI) registered 125.1 points in April, marking 14 consecutive months of growth and points toward the possibility of the first annual growth this year since 2019, agency President Luis Alemañy said.

The EDB shows 14 consecutive months of growth in April.

“Two months before the end of fiscal year 2022 (July-June), the cumulative growth rate from July to April increased 4.9%,” said Alemañy.

“This trend indicates that 2022 will mark the first annual growth since 2019, after the Index closed in negative during fiscal years 2020 and 2021: -2.2% and -0.8%, respectively,” said Alemañy.

“The index, in turn, reached a cumulative level of 124.1 points, after 10 months of this fiscal year, a result higher than those obtained since 2017,” said Alemañy.

The improvement observed in the island’s economic activity remains on a par with job growth, he said.

Cement sales remain stable, above 1.2 million bags per month, and gasoline consumption continues in positive territory, although the increases in retail prices seem to be having a moderate impact on monthly consumption, which differs from more markedly as the semester progresses.

Meanwhile, the island-wide blackout in April translated into an irregular reduction in the total energy generation, prompting a 0.3% month-on-month decline in the EDB-EAI.

However, if compared to the same month of the previous year, the EDB-EAI’s growth rate was 3.5%.

In April 2022, two of the four components of the EDB Index: non-agricultural salaried employment and cement sales, increased 0.4% and 7.2%, respectively.

While gasoline consumption fell -1.5% and electricity generation -7.7%, when compared against the figures for March 2022.

“When compared to the same month of the previous year (April 2021), only electricity generation fell (-7.4%), while the remaining components increased: non-agricultural salaried employment (5.6%), sales of cement (2.5%) and gasoline consumption (3.2%),” said Alemañy.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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