This monthly report features a commentary on the Government Development Bank’s Economic Activity Index (GDB-EAI), a coincident index for the economy of Puerto Rico. The GDB-EAI is a valuable tool that summarizes the behavior of four major monthly economic indicators. Up to March 2012, these indicators were: total non-farm payroll employment, cement sales, gasoline consumption, and electric power consumption. As of April 2012, the electric power consumption variable was replaced by the electric power generation variable as the fourth indicator.
The total non-farm payroll employment is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and comes from a survey (the Establishment Survey), which is based on a benchmark that is revised every year. This benchmark revision, which is published every March, shows the data for January as well as the revised figures for the previous 21 months. Accordingly, during the month of February no payroll employment data is released by the BLS. As a result, the GDB does not publish the GDB-EAI in February. In March there are two estimates of the Index available: by mid-March, the one corresponding to January (including the benchmark revision), and the one corresponding to February, by the end of March.