Puerto Rico’s economic activity slides on public payroll

The complete series of the new EAI, which starts in January 1980, shows the recessions of FY1982 and FY1983, and the mild recession of FY1991, the recession of 2001. It also shows the path of the Index since the beginning of the current recession. The complete series of the EAI, which starts in January 1980, shows the recessions of Fiscal 1982 and Fiscal 1983, and the mild recession of Fiscal 1991, the recession of 2001. It also shows the path of the Index since the beginning of the current recession.

Puerto Rico’s economic activity index for the month of June showed a 1.0 percent year-over-year reduction, after showing a 1.1 percent YOY decrease in June 2014. The figure was dragged down by a significant decrease in public payroll numbers, the Government Development Bank revealed late Friday.

The GDB-EAI showed that total non-farm payroll employment for June 2014 averaged 918,800, an annual decrease of 1.2 percent, while total non-farm payroll employment showed a 1.3 percent decrease in Fiscal 2014 with respect to Fiscal 2013.

“During the month, total private employment increased by 0.8 percent YOY (5,600 jobs), while total public employment decreased by 6.5 percent YOY (16,500 jobs) due to a policy decision to bring down the fiscal deficit,” the GDB informed

The June 2014 EAI results was 126.1, a 1.0 percent reduction compared to June 2013. Moreover, the EAI showed a reduction of 2.9 percent for Fiscal 2014 when compared to Fiscal 2013.

Meanwhile, the government noted that the results for June were the first since July 2012 in which cement sales, electricity generation, gasoline consumption and private employment increased at the same time on a year-over-year basis.

However, the public agency failed to say that all of the results reflected drops when fiscal years were compared.

Electric power generation for June 2014 totaled 1,831.6 million kWh, an annual growth of 1.9 percent. However, electricity generation for Fiscal 2014 was 2.7 percent below the average value of Fiscal 2013.

Meanwhile, the preliminary number for gasoline consumption in June 2014 was 78.0 million gallons, 1.4 percent above June 2013. But, the Fiscal 2014 gasoline consumption number was 1.7 percent below the figure for Fiscal 2013.

Cement sales for June 2014 totaled 1.26 million bags, registering an annual increase of 4.3 percent, the first one since August 2012. However, sales for Fiscal 2014 were 13.0 percent below the value of Fiscal 2013.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 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 areas of the economy.

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