Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

April 2004: S.O.S: WHERE THE JOBS ARE GOING?

On the process of outsourcing and implications for Puerto Rico

A phantom is roaming the planet and rattling the nerves of first world professionals: outsourcing. The service sector, the untouched harbor of many professionals in the US as well as in Europe, has witnessed the exodus of thousands of jobs to more attractive destinations. In this issue, we address this new phenomenon, which is revolutionizing labor markets across the globe and leaving many wondering whatever happened overnight. We provide some insights on the recent trends of worldwide outsourcing and examine the implications for Puerto Rico. Join us for an analysis and call to action of what PR should do to avoid being a loser in this global contest.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

March 2004: Welcome Back Recovery

A review of the PR economy in fiscal 2003 and forecasts for 2004 through 2006

Yes, it is true. Recovery has finally returned. After a shallow plunge in fiscal 2002, the PR economy perked up in fiscal 2003. The economy managed to go through high oil prices, new onerous excise taxes and a hostile international environment, featuring war, loss of jobs and a sickly stock market. We are indeed back on the path of positive growth, but it is yet too early to celebrate. Despite the promising outlook in the short run, our economy needs to overcome structural flaws and will have to rethink itself. Join us for a review of the main developments in fiscal 2003 and our forecast up to fiscal 2006. This issue will also discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

February 2004: Let Energy Foster Tomorrow’s Growth

Transitioning into a new energy phase is critical to PR’s competitiveness

The economy runs on energy. It is a fact that all economic activities require the consumption of energy. The intrinsic relationship between energy consumption and economic growth urges to secure energy reserves to spur long-term growth. In addition, future competitiveness will depend, in part, on attractive energy prices and lower environmental impacts. This issue presents a brief assessment of the energy sector in and highlights the necessary steps to enforce a transition towards a new energy phase in the island.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

January 2004: The Future lies in Education Today

Some ideas for a new vision

Compared to other economies in the region, Puerto Rico’s educational system has lowered the historically low levels of illiteracy and increased the demand for professionals, such as, engineers, registered nurses, and teachers. Despite such success, there are problems. In this issue, find out how the island compares internationally; what are the threats and possible outcomes if solutions are not adopted. Can PR afford to squander its most valuable resource: people? Is this the time to develop a new vision of what the new educational system of Puerto Rico should look like in the next twenty years?

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

December 2003: Uncertainties and Expectations in 2003

How global trends and economic news shaped the year

Year 2003 was tough, with challenging global trends shifting towards China and India; continuing US and worldwide economic slowdown, the war against Iraq, and some signs of recovery that are just now more obvious. Puerto Rico experienced stagnation in public construction, continuing high unemployment, efforts to initiate a tax reform and mixed signals in manufacturing. In this issue, find out what is at stake if Puerto Rico does not embrace a new vision of the future.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

November 2003: Where do we stand?

Assessing Puerto Rico`s position as part of a visioning process

Globalization and continuous changes in world economic trends press policy makers to constantly assess development goals in order to enhance national competitiveness. Puerto Rico is no exception. Assessing its competitiveness and international standing is a critical component in the formulation of a long-term vision. In this issue we present a series of comparative measures that examine Puerto Rico against regional and global players. Specifically, we compiled comparative indicators that point to Puerto Rico`s position and need of a strategic vision in key areas within economic and social development and the environment.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

October 2003: Inside the Puerto Rico Economy – Part II

Monitoring construction, consumption and the banking system

Now is the time to introduce three additional coincident indices that target the “sweetest” but most controversial side of the economy. These coincident indices cover construction, consumption, and banking. They depict the external face of the economy, the face we see every day while we buy, drive, and make money transactions. They are the side of the economy that poses many challenges to economists and policymakers. Our challenge is to uncover the first layer of these sectors and address the real causes of their somewhat strange behavior. Come along and enjoy another fascinating trip to the heart of our economy.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

September 2003: Inside the Puerto Rico Economy

Five new coincident indices track the Island economy

The issue of monitoring the economy is as fascinating as complicated and uncertain. As in the case of natural disasters, the sooner the detection, the sooner and more accurate the corrective move. Finding the best way to explain what is going on the economy and anticipate the next turn of the economy have drawn the attention of economists for a long time. The task of tracking the economy becomes more difficult at the state level, due to the lack of appropriate indicators. In this issue, we briefly review our current kit of economic tools and also present two of five indices developed by HCCG and aimed to track the economy’s performance. So, buckle-up and travel with us inside the PR economy.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

August 2003: How Distance Has Died?

The Communications Revolution

During the past few years tremendous technological advances in voice, video and data, digitally delivered across interconnecting networks to a variety of terminals, has sped-up communication and the transmission of information. Today, the cost of communicating ideas and data is now distance-free, thanks to the Internet cellular phones and lower telephone rates. The communications revolution has had a tremendous impact on the way knowledge and ideas are transported and how business is done. This on-going technological revolution in communications is what Frances Cairncross has described in her book as `the death of distance`. Find out how Puerto Rico fares in this revolution and how it has affected our lives.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

July 2003: Can Town Centers Fight Back?

Rediscovering the competitive edge of town centers

Our town centers appear to be on the brink of disappearing. Urban sprawl, shopping centers and private vehicles have changed the way we shop and threaten to turn town centers into ghost towns. Economic activity can be revitalized if businesses in town centers were to adopt precisely those traits that have made shopping centers a success. In this issue, we share some of the most significant results of two surveys: one of small business and another of household across six town centers, located mostly in the center of the island. Find out what are some of the weaknesses and strengths of town centers and what key steps they can take to initiate the needed comeback.