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P.R.’s economic activity index shows slight growth

The Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank’s Economic Activity index reached 121.6 in October 2019, a 0.4% increase compared to October 2018, the first positive growth after four year- over-year consecutive declines, and a 0.3% rise when compared to September 2019.

The annual comparison is with respect to October 2018, when electricity was restored to those customers that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority deemed as able to receive power safely after the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the EAI-EDB rose by 16.2% compared to the previous year, the EDB-EAI report shows.

For fiscal year 2019 the growth was of 5.8% with respect to fiscal year 2018. The increment observed during fiscal year 2019 is the first positive growth after six consecutive declines, EDB President Luis Carlos Fernández-Trinchet said.

However, for the July-October period of fiscal year 2020 it declined by 0.3%. Furthermore, for 2018 the improvement was of 3.2%, while it rose by 1.2% for the January–October 2019 period.

The EDB-EAI is a coincident index for the economic activity of Puerto Rico. It is highly correlated to Puerto Rico’s real GNP in both level and annual growth rates.

The EDB-EAI is made up of 4 indicators: Total payroll employment; total electric power generation; cement sales; and gas consumption.
Total non-farm payroll employment, for October 2019 averaged 869,900 employees, a downturn of 0.4% in a month-over-month basis, and an annual increase of 0.3%.

Electric power generation for October 2019 totaled 1,593.0 million kWh, a 1.6% decrease in a month-over-month basis, and an annual increment of 6.6%.

The preliminary number for gasoline consumption, in October 2019 totaled 77.2 million of gallons, 6.3% above September 2019, and a 2.9% decrease when compared to October 2018.

Cement sales, for October 2019 totaled 1.2 million of 94lb. bags, a 9.5% increase in a month-over-month basis, and an annual growth of 5.1%.

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

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