BDE’s Economic Activity Index shows 7.9% annual increase


By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico President Luis Alemañy González announced the publication on Wednesday of data related to the Economic Activity Index (IAE by its Spanish initials) for May 2021, which reached a maximum level of 119.4 points for a year-on-year increase of 7.9%.


Compared to the previous month, the Economic Development Bank’s IAE (IAE-BDE) increased 0.2%.


“The IAE-BDE contracted 5% in 2020, reaching 116.6 points,” Alemañy González said in a written statement. “In 2019 it averaged 122.8 and grew 1.6%. However, the average of the index for the period from January to May 2021 was 119.2 points, or an increase of 1.2%. To the extent that the governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, continues to execute his economic development plan, the report will reflect the positive impact of these measures, as can be seen in the year-on-year growth that the indicator has shown since March and up to now.”


The BDE president pointed out that during May 2021, two of the four components of the IAE-BDE: cement sales and electricity generation, increased by 8.4% and 1.8%, respectively, while non-agricultural salaried employment was down by 0.3% and gasoline consumption fell 0.2%. These results were compared against the April 2021 figures.


When compared to the same month of the previous year (May 2020), the four components of the index increased: non-agricultural salaried employment by 10%, cement sales by 12.1%, gasoline consumption by 3.7% and the generation of electric power by 2.6%. The interannual results reflect the effects of the closure caused by the coronavirus pandemic on the island.


The IAE-BDE analysis period includes the months from which the island experienced the consequences of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake, followed by strong aftershocks, coupled with the social and economic repercussions that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused both locally and internationally.


The Index is reviewed annually, during the first quarter of each calendar year, and all report results are obtained using seasonally adjusted data.