Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

January 2010: Mastering Survival in 2009, a Tough Year

A review of economic events in Puerto Rico

As we start the New Year, it is wise to review the economic events of the past year. In 2009, the PR economy continued into its 3-year old recession and survival seems to be the name of the game. The labor market lost 40,000 jobs in different sectors and unemployment increased. The government adopted painful policies, which included the announced reduction of almost 15,000 public jobs by January 2010 and imposed new taxes during 2009. With less income and jobs, consumers made fewer purchases, including cars, compared with 2008. The financial system posted record loan losses and felt the wave of the global financial crisis. A new President in the US addressed one of the largest fiscal rescues in US history. A new Governor in PR took office with the promise of change. The island expects to benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the local or “Criollo” Plan (PEC). Despite poor results in 2009, there is the hope of a new year when we can start all over again.