Puerto Rico Economic Dev’t Bank predicts growth after COVID-19 restrictions dropped
A new analysis by the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank’s Center for Economic Studie predicts that local businesses will be able to hire more staff and grow their operations after Gov. Pedro Pierluisi eliminated the most restrictive measures against COVID-19.
The study reflected that the positive outlook is related to economic growth during 2022 that could generate more than 40,000 jobs, EDB President Luis Alemañy said, adding that it is estimated that more than 5,000 jobs could be created businesses dedicated to tourism, the food sector, and education.
“These are extremely positive signs about business operations and how they could benefit from the removal of restrictions. We also must consider that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has an impact on Puerto Rico and that this is an event that could have repercussions,” said Alemañy.
In Puerto Rico, the preliminary results of the Real Gross Domestic Product fell by 3.3% in 2020, and, for 2021, several sources pointed to a growth close to 1%, although lower percentages have been cited, he said. In 2022 the economy is expected to grow 2.5%, Alemañy said.
This increase could represent, for the retail, education, and entertainment sectors alone, $319 million in production, 5,200 jobs, and $96.6 million in revenue. Extrapolating this growth to all industries would create some 41,700 jobs, the EDB’s study concluded.
The study, based on the most recent economic outlook, predicted that businesses facing staffing challenges and inventory limitations will now be able to maximize the use of their resources, space and business capacity. This is because the latest executive order, which came went into effect March 10, eliminated all capacity restrictions, while canceling requirements on vaccination and negative tests.
“We are entering a new stage in which the economy will continue to recover after going through this health crisis. Despite the international factors that could affect our island, the elimination of the measures will allow greater economic growth,” Alemañy said.