Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

May 1998: All you wanted to know about Puerto Rico’s Public Debt

Privatization is the trend.  Still, 22% of the $32 billion GNP in 1997 was bought by the government, excluding the public corporations. It hires 23% of the 1.1 million employees and invests heavily on construction.  The average government sector worldwide consumes 15% of GNP.  Does this pose a problem for the island? This issue looks at the size of Puerto Rico’s public debt, which amounted to $20.7 billion as of February 1998.  It analyzes the fiscal moderation mechanisms imposed by our constitution and how it appears to be by-passed with the growth of extra-constitutional debt. Contents of this issue provide answers as to the size, growth, and sectors this debt is financing.