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UPDATE 1-Puerto Rico economic activity falls 1 percent in August
October 4, 2016 / 7:56 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Puerto Rico economic activity falls 1 percent in August

(Adds detail from EAI report)

By Nick Brown

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico’s economic activity index (EAI) for August fell 1 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. territory’s fiscal agency reported on Tuesday.

The Caribbean island’s total EAI, an economic measurement correlated to gross national product, was 124.1 in August, the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority said in a monthly report.

Puerto Rico is burdened with $70 billion in debt, a 45 percent poverty rate and a rapidly declining population as its residents, who are U.S. citizens, emigrate in droves to the mainland United States.

Its finances are now under the oversight of a federally appointed board tasked with helping the island restructure debt and overhaul its economy.

The EAI is based on four economic indicators: total nonfarm payroll employment, electric power generation, gasoline consumption and cement sales.

Nonfarm payroll employment was down 0.3 percent from a year ago, the report said, but the other indicators rose.

Power generation totaled 1,882.9 million kilowatt hours, an annual increase of 1 percent, while gasoline consumption was up 2 percent from August of 2015, the report said.

Cement sales for August 2016 totaled 1.02 million bags, according to the report, an increase of 3.1 percent from a year ago. (Reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and David Gregorio)

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