Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

March 1999: Why Puerto Rico’s economy surprised all of us in 1998

An overview of 1998 and forecasts for 1999 and 2000

The growth of the Puerto Rico economy in 1998 was higher than expected. Why? Partially, the impulse of the US economy echoed in PR, mainly through exports and record low interest rates that zapped construction. Find out how Viagra helped PR. Government contributed with a massive program of public works. Productivity posted significant gains, particularly in manufacturing. Tourism also thrived under the umbrella of government incentives. Our economy grows apart from the US. Is this a trend? With this landscape, our model forecasted a continuation of positive but lower growth for most sectors, coexisting with still high unemployment and inflation during 1999 and 2000. Y2K remains a risk factor.