Puerto Rico Economic Forecast

Puerto Rico Economic Outlook

January 15, 2019

The economy remains downtrodden following the devastating hurricanes of late 2017, although marginal progress has been made since then. In November, the unemployment rate fell to 7.6%, which is the lowest since current records began nearly two decades ago. However, this was partly because the labor force shrank compared to both the previous month and the same month a year earlier, and the participation rate fell to an over one-year low. Meanwhile, another glimpse of progress was evident in the Economic Development Bank’s monthly index of economic activity, which showed growing activity in both September and October.

Puerto Rico Economic Growth

This fiscal year, which runs through June, the economy is likely to grow due to a miserably low base effect and the stimulus received from federal disaster relief funding. Our panelists forecast that GNP will expand 4.1% in FY 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate, before slowing to 2.3% in FY 2020.

Puerto Rico Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)3.63.53.53.43.4
GNP per capita (USD)19,18819,46320,04020,58521,057
GNP (USD bn)68.968.869.670.270.6
Economic Growth (GNP, annual variation in %)-0.1-1.8-0.8-1.3-2.4
Unemployment Rate14.014.313.011.711.5
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-  -  -  -  -  
Public Debt (% of GDP)94.297.895.191.591.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)0.41.5-1.30.21.9
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)0.90.9-0.3-0.20.6
Current Account (% of GDP)4.74.27.38.3-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)4.84.37.58.6-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)17.420.026.228.524.9
Exports (USD billion)62.462.569.471.971.1
Imports (USD billion)45.042.543.243.346.2
Exports (annual variation in %)5.90.111.13.6-1.0
Imports (annual variation in %)-3.3-5.71.80.26.7

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