Puerto Rico got positive revenue and economic news for March.
Puerto Rico’s Treasury announced that March revenues exceeded budgeted projections for the month by 7.1%.
Through the first nine months of the fiscal year General Fund revenues ran 4.1% ($250 million) above projections.
By far the biggest contributor to the March exceedance was by Puerto Rico’s corporate income tax. This pulled in 86.8% more than budgeted, or $130.4 million rather than the $69.8 million.
A separate tax on non-Puerto Rico based corporations’ income (Act 154) continued to outperform in March, coming in 9.8% higher or $18 million more than projected.
On Friday the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced improved employment statistics for the island in its household survey. According to this survey, the total number of Puerto Ricans employed increased in March by 0.7% from February and 0.4% from March 2016.
The unemployment rate slipped in March to 11.5% from 12% in February. The March rate ties the statistic’s low point since June 2008, when it was 11.4%.
The bureau also releases an employment survey based on employer responses. This showed continued contractions, with total nonfarm employment down by 0.2% since February and 0.3% since March 2016.
The employer survey indicated that the island’s private sector employment in March was little changed from February and slipped 1% since March 2016.
The discrepancy in the direction of the household and establishment surveys may be because the former includes agricultural and self-employed workers while the latter doesn’t.
All percentage changes in employment numbers in this story are for seasonally adjusted data.