Puerto Rico Compass ©

Q1 2012: Is Consumption Coming Back?

An analysis of 1st Quarter 2012 economic indices in PR

Since 2009, Puerto Rico has attempted to regain fiscal sustainability and market confidence. We have been staring into the headlights of a protracted economic recession without gradually realigning our economy to a sustainable position of economic growth. Despite high levels of unemployment and bankruptcies, there are signs that consumption may be coming back. Consumer expenditures run at about 90% of GNP in Puerto Rico, so consumption growth will play an important part in determining the pace of PR growth. This issue presents an analysis of HCCG’s economic indices for the first quarter 2012, with particular emphasis on consumption. Has consumption recovered to pre-recession levels of 2006? How have different components of consumption performed? How long is the path to complete recovery? Also, find out how other indicators, such as construction, have also posted positive growth during this quarter.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

March 2012: It Takes Investment to Grow the Economy

An analysis of fiscal 2011 and forecast of the PR economy

As fiscal 2011 ended last June 2011, official data is estimated to once again post a contraction in real GNP growth for the PR economy. The island has had five years of recession, defined as negative real annual growth of its GNP. The crisis has exerted negative pressure on all sectors of the economy. The Government has continued to raise PR’s heavy public debt, a challenge that will adversely impact the fiscal outlook of the central government and its public corporations. Construction has been hardest hit with repeated declines in public and private investment, which continue to hamper future economic growth. Consumer sentiment seems to be less negative given the modest increase in car and other retail sales. Unemployment is high and inflation is inching higher with increased oil prices. This issue offers subscribers the opportunity to review the economic outlook and weave the internal and external economic threats present in this election year and in the near term future.