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Puerto Rico’s manufacturing sector advances, exceeds pre-COVID-19 levels

Manufacturing activity has advanced steadily over the past 10 months and, for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak, has exceeded the pre-pandemic level, according to the Manufacturing Coincident Indicators Index (IICM, in Spansih) for February 2021.

Industrial activity in February increased 0.6% (seasonally adjusted) and registered a value of 104.1 points when compared to January 2021. Furthermore, when comparing the February 2021 index with the same month of the previous year, the IICM registered an increase of 0.2%.

“This is the first increase in the index at an annual rate since the pandemic began, leaving behind a period of 10 months of declines at an annual rate in the index, due to the effects related to COVID-19 at the local, national and international levels,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Cidre.

The index is prepared by the Department of Economic Development and Commerce’s (DDEC, in Spanish) Office of Economic Analysis and Business Intelligence.

“The manufacturing sector is recovering and has been resilient in the face of the crisis caused by COVID-19,” said Cidre.

“It’s one of the economic sectors that has best weathered the difficulties. We’re confident that this trend will hold up,” said Cidre.

On the other hand, so far in Fiscal 2021, the accumulated average value for the first eight months shows that activity in the manufacturing industry has decreased 1.6% when compared to the same period of the previous Fiscal Year.

“It should be noted that this period of consecutive increases at a monthly rate and experienced in the past 10 months, has reduced the fall of the index by 2.3 percentage points since the beginning of Fiscal 2021,” he said.

“When analyzing the average value of the calendar year for the first two months of 2021, the industrial activity shows that it has remained unchanged with respect to the same period of the previous year, even when the industrial activity was in a period of growth, when it experienced the seismic events of January 2020 and just before the beginning of the economic and social effects of COVID-19,” Cidre said.

“We project that the indices will continue to increase progressively and that both the manufacturing industry and many others will strengthen again. We’re paying close attention to each one of them and working together to provide them with the support they need,” Cidre said.

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