Puerto Rico’s economic activity down 1.1% in May
The Government Development Bank released late Friday the Economic Activity Index for the month of May, which reflected a 1.1 percent year-over-year reduction, slightly lower than the 1.3 percent on record for April.
While the government classified the slim improvement as “holding up with a stabilization scenario,” the reality is that it may more likely represent the ongoing stagnation of Puerto Rico’s economy.
When broken down, all of the key indicators reflected reductions.
Total non-farm payroll employment for May 2014 averaged 932,100, remaining virtually flat with a 0.4 percent increase, while so far this Fiscal 2014 total non-farm payroll employment showed a 1.3 percent decrease with respect to the corresponding figure for Fiscal 2013. During May, total private employment increased by 1.8 percent year-over-year (12,000 jobs), while total public employment decreased by 3.4 percent YOY (8,400 jobs).
Electric power generation for May 2014 totaled 1,784.4 million kWh, reflecting an annual reduction of 3.3 percent. Electricity generation for Fiscal 2014 year-to-date was 3.1 percent less than during the same period of Fiscal 2013.
Meanwhile, the preliminary number for gasoline consumption in May was 90 million gallons, or 0.5 percent below May 2013’s totals. So far this fiscal year, gasoline consumption number has been 2.1 percent below the corresponding figure for Fiscal 2013, the GDB-EAI showed.
Cement sales — which reflects construction activity — for May 2014 totaled 1.25 million bags, registering an annual reduction of 10.8 percent. Year-to-date sales for Fiscal 2014 are 14.2 percent below the figure for the same period in Fiscal 2013.
It is worth noting that the GDB released the EAI after 7:30 p.m. Friday, repeating a pattern begun several months ago.