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Puerto Rico's economic activity hits 20-year low

Puerto Rico's economic activity has slumped to its lowest level in two decades, according to an index released by the commonwealth's Government Development Bank (GDB), which also showed a sharp drop in electric power generation and cement sales.

The bank's economic activity index fell 1.1 percent in August year-over-year, putting the headline index at the lowest level since 1994.


A power station of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, in San Juan.
Ana Martinez | Reuters
A power station of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, in San Juan.

Electric power generation for August fell 4.1 percent while cement sales slumped 22.4 percent. A turnaround expert was recently appointed at the island's power authority PREPA, whose debt troubles are indicative of the wider stress threatening the U.S. territory.

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However, the index showed that private employment grew for the sixth month, up 0.4 percent on an annual basis.