Puerto Rico economic activity index down three of last four months

The Puerto Rico economic activity index has fallen three of the past four months on a month-to-month basis but remains above year-ago levels.

The Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank said July’s index reading of 124.2 was down 0.1% from June and 1.1% from the March reading of 125.6, which was the highest since COVID-19 hit the island in spring 2020.

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Nevertheless, the July reading was up 1.7% from July 2021 and 0.096% since July 2019, the last July unaffected by COVID-19.

From July 2012 to July 2022 the index contracted 8.3%.

The index is determined by four seasonally adjusted economic measures. Two of the four increased in July from June. Total non-farm payroll employment increased 0.2% from a month earlier and gasoline consumption expanded 2.8%.

Electric power generation declined 3.2% and cement sales contracted 6.8% from June.

Bondholders and the Puerto Rico Oversight Board pay attention to Puerto Rico’s economic activity in their continuing negotiations over the terms of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority bond restructuring. The former also monitors them in the trading of Puerto Rico bonds on the secondary market.

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