Puerto Rico’s economic activity index reflected yet another drop in August, when results were down 1.1 percent when compared to the same month last year, according to data released late Friday by the Government Development Bank.
Last month’s results follow a 0.7 percent reduction reported in July 2014.
The report showed that several of the key components that make up the index reflected downturns in August: Cement sales totaled 1.07 million bags, a year-over-year decrease of 22.4 percent; Electric power generation totaled 1,869.5 million kWh, or a year-over-year decrease of 4.1 percent; and gasoline consumption was 75.0 million gallons, a 0.3 percent decrease from August 2013, preliminary calculations showed.
Meanwhile, total non-farm payroll employment averaged 911,600, an annual increase of 0.4 percent, the report noted.
Private employment grew for the sixth consecutive month, “demonstrating that the private sector is leading the recovery,” the GDB said, adding that construction employment registered its fifth consecutive month of growth, up 6.6 percent in August.
“Employment in the public sector has been decreasing since early 2013. Such decrease in public sector employment was primarily driven by policy decision to reduce the fiscal deficit,” the GDB-EAI report noted.
The GDB publishes the EAI on a monthly basis along with a qualitative economic comment to provide an understanding of the trends and current state of the local economy.
The EAI index is developed following a methodology similar to that used by The Conference Board in their coincident index, and has a high correlation to Puerto Rico’s real Gross National Product.