Puerto Rico’s economic activity registered a year-over-year decrease of 0.4 percent, and a month-over-month reduction of 0.3 percent, according to the latest index released by the Government Development Bank Thursday.
The June 2015 figure for the new EAI was 121.1, a 0.4 percent decrease compared to June 2014, and a decrease of 0.3 percent compared to May 2015. On a year-to-date basis (July-June) the new EAI shows a reduction of 1.6 percent with respect the same period of the previous year.
On the other hand, the June 2015 figure for the previous EAI was 123.5, a 0.7 percent reduction compared to June 2014, and a decline of 0.3 percent compared to May 2015. Moreover, the FY2015 YTD (July-June) EAI showed a reduction of 2.1 percent with respect to the corresponding figure for FY2014.
The GDB revised the EAI earlier this year to make it a coincident index for the island’s economic activity, correlated to the island’s real GNP. The methodology used is similar to that applied by The Conference Board in its coincident index, which follows a standard procedure to adjust the data to seasonality and volatility factors.
The four key components used to measure Puerto Rico’s economic activity behaved as follows:
Total non-farm payroll employment for June 2015 averaged 902,200, and remained flat compared to June 2014. For FY2015 total non-farm payroll employment showed a 1.1 percent decrease with respect to FY2014.
The preliminary data for electric power generation for June 2015 was 1,799.2 million of kWh, an annual decrease of 1.8 percent. Electricity generation for FY2015 was 2.1 percent below the average value of FY2014.
The preliminary data for gasoline consumption in June 2015 was 77.7 million of gallons, 7.8 percent below June 2014. On a year-to-date basis, gasoline consumption has decreased by 0.8 percent.
In Fiscal 2015, four months were revised downwardly: in January, gasoline consumption was down 1 million gallons to 89 million; in February, it was down 1 million to 86.9 million; in March, it down 4.1 million to 86.6 million, and in May, it was down 2 million to 79.4 million.
Cement sales for June 2015 totaled 1.27 million of bags, registering an annual increase of 1.0 percent. Sales for FY2015 were 9.6 percent below the value of FY2014.
The GDB-EAI is an indicator of Puerto Rico’s general economic activity, not a direct measurement of the real GNP. The annual growth rate of the EAI is not the same as the annual growth rate of the real GNP, the GDB explained.