Puerto Rico Economic Forecast

Puerto Rico Economic Outlook

September 14, 2021

The economy seemingly returned to growth in the fourth quarter of FY 2021 (July 2020–June 2021), after economic activity surged at the quickest rate in over three years in June. Moreover, the unemployment rate averaged slightly lower in April–June than in the previous quarter, having dropped to a joint record-low level in April, thus hinting at healthier household consumption. Turning to the current quarter, available data paints a mixed picture: While the manufacturing PMI was on firmer footing in July compared to the prior quarter, the unemployment rate rose to a seven-month high in the same month. Furthermore, despite a region-leading vaccination campaign, new Covid-19 cases rocketed from late-July onwards and prompted authorities to reinstate some restrictions on non-essential businesses for most of September, spelling trouble for activity towards the end of the quarter.

Puerto Rico Economic Growth

GDP growth is expected to moderate in FY 2022, partly due to a high base effect. Private spending growth is seen slowing, although increased holiday travel should buoy the tourism sector. Uncertainty regarding the pandemic, coupled with the risks stemming from the current hurricane season, cloud the outlook. Our panelists forecast that GDP will expand 2.0% in FY 2022, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 1.2% in FY 2023.

Puerto Rico Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)3.53.43.33.23.1
GNP per capita (USD)20,04020,54420,76721,22822,874
GNP (USD bn)69.670.069.067.870.8
Economic Growth (GNP, annual variation in %)-0.8-1.6-3.2-4.21.5
Unemployment Rate12.911.711.510.38.4
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-  -  -  -  -  
Public Debt (% of GDP)95.191.892.9-  -  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-0.20.51.10.60.5
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)-0.7-0.31.81.20.1
Current Account (% of GDP)7.29.17.89.77.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)7.59.58.19.88.0
Trade Balance (USD billion)26.428.425.214.114.3
Exports (USD billion)69.571.771.160.663.7
Imports (USD billion)43.143.345.946.549.4
Exports (annual variation in %)11.53.3-0.9-14.85.1
Imports (annual variation in %)1.20.56.11.16.4

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