Puerto Rico Economic Forecast

Puerto Rico Economic Outlook

February 13, 2018

The economy remains in weak shape amid high public debt and the fallout from Hurricanes Maria and Irma. On 24 January, the government released a revised five-year fiscal plan. It includes subsidy cuts, reforms to build a more centralized government procurement system and measures to boost tax collection. Despite all of this, the plan projects the government will remain in a fiscal deficit position until FY 2022. In response, Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board requested amendments on 5 February, calling for more details on policy changes and the inclusion of an emergency disaster fund. Meanwhile, under a U.S. federal disaster recovery package approved on 9 February, Puerto Rico will receive a USD 16 billion financial lifeline, which will help support dwindling Medicaid funding and ongoing infrastructure rebuilding efforts.

Puerto Rico Economic Growth

The devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma is expected to keep the economy in recession this fiscal year, as are U.S. federal tax changes agreed in December. For FY 2018, our panelists estimate that GNP will contract 4.5%, which is down 2.7 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For FY 2019, GNP is expected to grow 1.6%.

Puerto Rico Economy Data

20122013201420152016
Population (million)3.63.63.63.53.5
GNP per capita (USD)18,73319,18819,279-  -  
GNP (USD bn)68.168.968.5-  -  
Economic Growth (GNP, annual variation in %)0.5-0.1-1.7-  -  
Unemployment Rate15.214.014.313.011.7
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-  -  -  -  -  
Public Debt (% of GDP)63.863.465.964.261.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)0.90.41.5-1.30.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.60.90.9-0.3-0.2
Current Account (% of GDP)3.54.74.27.38.2
Current Account Balance (USD bn)3.64.84.37.58.6
Trade Balance (USD billion)12.317.420.026.228.5
Exports (USD billion)58.962.462.569.471.9
Imports (USD billion)46.645.042.543.243.3
Exports (annual variation in %)-9.25.90.111.13.6
Imports (annual variation in %)4.3-3.3-5.71.80.2

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