Puerto Rico economic activity declines for first time in 10 months
Puerto Rico’s Economic Activity Index declined for the first time in 10 months in September.
The reading for September 2018 was 121.4, a decline of 0.4% from the August 2018 value. The index has risen every month from November through July, and was unchanged at 121.9 in August.
Due to the impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, the index number for September 2017 plunged to 115.4 from August 2017’s 122.1. It continued to decline to 99 in November.
The September 2018 reading was up 5.2% from the September 2017 value, which reflected the effects of the most damaging hurricane since the early 1930s. Nevertheless, it was the first time in 5 years and 9 months that the island’s economic activity index was up year-over-year.
The economic activity index is created using four economic measures. Of these four, three increased on a month-to-month basis.
Electric power generation rose 2.5%, gasoline consumption was up 4.4%, and cement sales advanced 2.5%.
Total non-farm payroll employment slipped 1% from August. This number comes from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics survey, also known as the establishment survey.
The BLS also releases an alternative employment survey, the Current Population Survey, based on a household survey. This survey showed that total employment was up by 0.1% in September from August.