Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

September 2000: Manufacturing Productivity Growth in the US

A Key to the “New Economy”

Faster productivity growth has been a principle reason for the U.S. economy`s stellar performance since the mid-90s. A major factor in the overall economy`s improved productivity performance has been the even more impressive productivity performance in the manufacturing sector. Why has productivity growth in manufacturing outstripped that of the economy as a whole? What industries have been the leaders? Why have these industries been the leaders? Find out more about the manufacturing productivity renaissance, a key to the `new economy.`

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

August 2000: Oil Prices Strike Again

Will they bring the PR economy down?

World oil prices by OPEC and the subsequent increases in gasoline prices and electricity bills have taken center stage. Between March 1999 and June 2000, the average monthly world price of a barrel of oil increased from $14.72 to $30.27. This increase is not demand-driven since world consumption, measured in millions of daily barrels, only increased 1.7% on an annual basis during the past five years. What are the factors leading to this steep increase in prices? How will this oil turmoil impact PR? Are gasoline prices really high locally compared to other countries? Find out if we are less vulnerable now than before to oil price shocks?

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

July 2000: Cyberspace goes Wireless

Will Puerto Ricans go online anywhere at anytime?

Tired of owning 5 remote controls: one for TV, another for VCR, another for DVD…The consumer electronics revolution has just begun and people are beginning to own complicated gadgets, serving many functions in one small unit.  The new generation of mobile phones comes equipped with internet access.  Why are mobile phone companies pursuing Internet access?  Learn about Puerto Rico`s booming Internet business. What factors led the Internet to penetrate Puerto Rico faster than the rest of the world and how will this impact the evolution of Puerto Rican cyberspace?  Finally, find out how wireless Internet access will expand Puerto Rico`s cybernetic population even more.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

June 2000: All Aboard!

Will Puerto Rico embrace the train with a passion?

Over a hundred years ago, Puerto Rico operated many trains. Fifty years ago, their demise signaled a new era of transportation chaos in San Juan. Find out how a vicious cycle of road construction, car usage and suburban sprawl has led Puerto Rico to depend entirely on the automobile for transportation. As a result, over twenty years ago, local planners began dreaming of an urban train designed to serve the needs of the San Juan Metropolitan Area (SJMA). Result: Tren Urbano (TU). How much will TU cost? How much will it impact your wallet? Who will pay for TU’s operational deficit? Learn the challenges TU faces in achieving its goal of reducing traffic congestion. What complimentary policies are needed?

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

May 2000: We can make your product for you

Latest trends in the pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico

There is a fundamental change in the economy: life is getting more competitive and companies have been thinking harder than ever before on how to stay on top. Section 936 of the US tax code provided federal tax exemption to US companies that established production in Puerto Rico. With the phase-out of this incentive by 2005, many analysts forecast manufacturing plants would close. Instead, many former 936 corporations, have stepped up their investments in the Island. Find out why. 

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

April 2000: Dissecting the Construction Boom

An Explanation of the

There would appear to be no barriers to the expansion of construction in PR.  Housing, commercial buildings, and infrastructure are all riding high.  After six years, this sector seems to take on new power as it threatened to reach the $7 billion mark and posted double-digit growth.  Government megaprojects have been heralded as the main driver.  Will this hold?  And, for how long?  After all, interest rates seem to be creeping upwards and fiscal revenues are finite.  How sensitive is housing to rate increases?  Find out what ingredients explain this construction boom.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

March 2000: Journey Inside a Record Year

The Shape of the PR economy in 1999 and Forecast for 2000 and 2001

The economy of carefree consumers and builders rolled on last year, widely fueled by the destruction of Hurricane Goerges in 1998.  Was the 42% growth of the Puerto Rico economy in 1999 significant?  With higher oil prices and interest rates, is the growth sustainable?  Have we become less oil dependent?  How real is low unemployment?  Arguably equally important is the enhanced role of investments as opposed to government aid in personal income.  Perhaps this is the result of a new entrepreneurial culture.  Uncover facts you didn`t know about PR.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

February 2000: Speeding the Markets

Insights into how the last 10 years changed banks in Puerto Rico

Economic prosperity in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in the 1990`s has helped skyrocket the local commercial banking sector. A consolidation wave eliminated more than half the commercial banks that were present in 1989. How have banks reacted to a changing depository environment over the past ten years? Are banks coping with the end of Section 936 benefits? Will the changing federal legislation impact the local banking sector? The 1990`s have also been characterized by rising bankruptcy rates. What is the impact on a bank`s personal loan portfolio? Learn where new loans are coming from and potential pitfalls in the future of loan growth and whether local bank stocks have felt the impact of rising interest rates.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

January 2000: Puerto Rico`s Changing Telecom Universe

Both consumers and service providers stand to win

Globalization has reshaped economies all around the world transforming local markets into world affairs. Mergers and acquisitions have redefined the might of the players. They are now bigger, more cost-efficient and ever-seeking a competitive edge. In PR, federal laws and local deregulation acts in 1990 and particularly in 1996 have redefined what telecommunications are all about. This highly technologically driven sector is changing faster than a speeding bullet. More services, new technologies, lower competitive prices are just some of the features in this new universe. With the sale of publicly owned PRTC, can we expect more competition? Find out where all this is going.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

December 1999: Breaking into the New Millennium

A Review of Economic Events in 1999

This has been the year in which more money has been pumped into the megaprojects of the Super aqueduct, the Urban Train, and highway construction. The six-year old health care reform plan for the medically indigent is already in need of reform. The disaster of Hurricane Gorges in September 1998 turned out to be a blessing in disguise, propelling the economy to 4.2% real growth in fiscal 99. Our consumers kept breaking sales records. But depending on the two C`s: construction and consumption may be too complacent for the economic outlook in year 2000. Although, not an alarming fact, it does cast some doubt as to our ability to stay on the path of growth. As we break into the new millennium, we face an election year crammed with challenges and issues for the new gubernatorial candidates. Find out how a review of the major headlines during the year provides some clues on the economy at least for the next twelve months.