[FACT CHECK] Ricardo Rosselló: “Puerto Rico’s Economic Activity Index grew by 3% for the first time in 12 years.”

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló-Nevares said in his State of the Commonwealth address that “For the first time in 12 years, Puerto Rico’s Economic Activity Index grew 3%.”

La Fortaleza referred the inquiry to corroborate the data and for questions related to Rosselló-Nevares’ statement to the Economic Development Bank (EDB), after warning that the governor “offers the figures reported by his agency heads.”

EDB Economist Gladys Medina-Claudio said Puerto Rico’s Economic Activity Index did not show a monthly interannual growth of 3% since February 2004, nor did it reflect year-over-year growth of more than 3% since 1999. To reach that interannual rate, the value of a month of the year in question is compared with the value of the same month of the prior year. “It was not until 2018 that the values surpassed 3%. Now [in 2019] it reached 3.2%,” said Medina-Claudio. However, when asked how the 3.2% increase was calculated, the EDB economist answered that an average for 2018 was used and compared with the 2017 average.