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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Puerto Rico records exports growth from January to April

Economic Development Bank President Luis Alemañy González

By The Star Staff

From January to April of this year, accumulated exports reached $20.2 billion, exceeding imports by $2.7 billion. In April, exports showed an interannual increase of 13.1% for a total of $5.4 billion, Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico (BDE by its initials in Spanish) data shows.

“This sustained growth in exports this year is a great indicator and reflection of the dynamism and capacity that Puerto Rico has to compete face-to-face in international markets,” BDE President Luis Alemañy González said. “A positive trade balance is a great indication of the strength of our economy and our ability to generate value through our exports.”

At the end of 2023, Puerto Rico also obtained a positive trade balance, reflecting solid export growth of $67.2 billion, representing a growth rate of 9.3%. Meanwhile, imports reached $57 billion, with an increase of 4.3% compared to the previous year. As a result, the commercial balance was nearly $10.2 billion, 49.2% higher than the previous year.

Regarding exports to the United States, which comprise 72% of the island’s total exports, the total for the calendar year 2023 was $48.5 billion, with an increase of 7.8% compared to the previous year. Similar to the behavior observed with total exports, exports to the United States marked a reduction of 4.4% for January to April of this year and a growth rate of 0.2% in April, after two consecutive months of interannual decreases of 14.1% in February and 8.2% in March.

Exports to foreign countries reached a total of $18.2 billion, representing an increase of 14.2% compared to the previous year. From January to April of this year, the total was $5.8 billion, representing a decrease of 6.3% compared to last year. In April, exports to foreign countries totaled over $1.9 billion, an increase of 46.9% compared to the same month of the previous year.

BDE Center for Economic Studies Economist Gladys Medina pointed out that “the growth in our exports to foreign countries underlines the diversification of our markets and the resilience of our economy in the face of fluctuations in internal and external demand.”

“Maintaining and strengthening these business relationships is crucial to ensure sustained growth,” she said.

Puerto Rico remains the largest exporter of pharmaceutical products and medicines in the United States. In 2023, exports of those products reached $17.8 billion, a growth of 10.7% compared to the previous year, representing 16.4% of the $108.7 billion of pharmaceutical products and medicines exported by the United States. In this category of goods, Puerto Rico is followed by the states of Indiana, North Carolina, California and Massachusetts.

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