Puerto Rico Economic Forecast

Puerto Rico Economic Outlook

July 14, 2020

The economy likely contracted sharply in the final half of fiscal year 2020, which ended in June, due to regular earthquakes since January, causing infrastructure damage, and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. According to new and revised monthly data, economic activity slumped in March–April. Moreover, given that the territory-wide lockdown lasted from 15 March to 12 June, activity in May–June will have also fallen. Turning to the new fiscal year, which began in July, the economy should gradually recover as restrictions ease and the government opens up the spending taps, despite its constrained fiscal standing. The new budget increases total spending compared to the previous fiscal year by approximately USD 2.0 billion.

Puerto Rico Economic Growth

The economy will likely recover modestly in fiscal year 2021, after contracting in FY 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and earthquakes. The extent of the recovery in FY 2021 will depend on the severity of the virus, while natural disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, pose a downside risk. Our panelists forecast that GNP will expand 1.5% in FY 2021, which is up 5.6 percentage points from last month’s estimate, and 2.4% in FY 2022.

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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