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ECONOMIC INDICATORS DASHBOARD

Actualizado: 8 de junio de 2021

 

Las condiciones en el mercado laboral siguen mejorando. Cifras a abril muestran la recuperación de 84,300 empleos de los 120,500 que se perdieron con el cierre de la economía entre marzo y abril del 2020. Las cifras del empleo asalariado no agrícola reflejan ganancias importantes en empleo en los sectores de hoteles y restaurantes (+20,300), comercio al detal (+26,000) y servicios profesionales y comerciales (+9,700) que fueron precisamente algunos de los sectores más afectados con el cierre inicial de la economía. Por otro lado, la tasa de desempleo mantuvo una tendencia decreciente en los primeros cuatro meses del 2021, disminuyendo de 9.3% en enero a 8.4% en abril, mientras que las reclamaciones iniciales por desempleo continuaron estables en 2,287 reclamaciones (i.e., por debajo del promedio histórico de 3,641 reclamaciones) en la semana que finalizó el 29 de mayo de 2021.

 
El sector comercial sigue fortaleciéndose con crecimientos notables en el volumen de las ventas al detal y de automóviles. Las ventas al detal acumuladas para el periodo de enero-febrero de 2021 aumentaron 15% a $5,481 millones en comparación con el mismo periodo el año anterior, mientras que las ventas acumuladas de automóviles para los primeros cuatro meses (i.e., enero-abril) del 2021 incrementaron 133% o en 24,663 unidades para un total de 43,137 unidades vendidas en comparación con el mismo periodo el año anterior.


El mercado inmobiliario continúa experimentando una tendencia positiva con crecimiento robusto en las ventas de vivienda y con una tendencia positiva en los precios promedios. Las ventas de unidades de vivienda acumuladas para los primeros cuatro meses del 2021 reflejaron un crecimiento sólido de 116% para 4,347 unidades vendidas con relación al mismo periodo el año anterior. El auge en la demanda por viviendas ha estado acompañado de aumentos en el precio promedio de las unidades vendidas con el índice de precios de la vivienda publicado por el Federal Housing Financing Agency para todas las transacciones aumentando por octavo trimestre consecutivo en 16%, de 165.54 en el primer trimestre del 2020 a 192.51 en el primer trimestre del 2021.


La actividad en la manufactura se ralentizó con el Índice de Gerentes de Compras en la Industria de la Manufactura situándose en 57.9 en abril 2021 en comparación con un valor de 61.1 el mes anterior (i.e., valores por encima del umbral de 50 indican una expansión en la actividad del sector con relación al mes anterior). Sin embargo, la actividad en el sector continúa mostrando fortaleza apoyado por crecimientos en los subíndices de nuevas órdenes, producción y entregas de proveedores. Por su parte, el empleo en la manufactura aumentó de 67,200 en abril de 2020 a 78,200 en abril de 2021.

 

FINANCIAL STABILITY INDEX FOR BANKS IN PUERTO RICO 

Stability Index for Banks in Puerto Rico First Quarter 2021

Leslie Adames

Director of Economic Analysis and Policy

 

The index measures the financial health of the industry in reference to four criteria: liquidity (i.e., total loans / deposits or LtD), solvency (i.e., capital to total assets or E / A), asset quality (i.e., nonperforming loans or NPL / Total Loans) and profitability (i.e., return on assets or ROA). The index fluctuates between [0,1], with values approaching zero (0) indicating financial fragility and values close to one (1) strength.

 

The index continued improving as of the first quarter of 2021 according to the latest figure of the Puerto Rico’s Banking Industry Financial Stability Index produced quarterly by Estudios Técnicos, Inc. The index increased from 0.52 in the first quarter of 2020 to 0.55 in the fourth quarter of 2020 and then to 0.61 in the first quarter of 2021. 

 

The index increased for the third consecutive quarter driven by sequential improvements in the industry’s liquidity position. Total deposits for the 12 months ending in the first quarter of 2021 rose by $16.0 billion to $75.7 billion when compared to the same period last year. The total loan and lease portfolio increased by $3.6 billion driven primarily by the residential mortgage and commercial loans portfolio which represented 88% of the total annual increase in the industry’s portfolio balance. Stronger growth in deposits relative to loans and lease portfolio balance led to further improvements in the loan-to-deposit (LtD) ratio from 64.61% to 52.13% between 1Q’20 and 1Q’21. 

 

The industry’s profitability improved during the quarter with the return on assets (ROA) increasing for the fifth consecutive quarter from 0.49% in the first quarter of 2020 to 1.42% in the first quarter of 2021. The incremental profitability was driven primarily by the release of $283 million in provisions for loans and lease losses given that the industry continues facing pressure on interest margins despite reductions in the cost of funds. The industry’s net interest margin (NIM) declined from 4.31% in the first quarter of 2020 to 3.45% in the first quarter of 2021.

 

Nonperforming loans to total loans (NPLs) show a sequential improvement from 6.57% in the third quarter of 2020 to 5.47% in the first quarter of 2021. However, on an individual basis, some local banks experienced moderate deterioration in specific business lending segments such as in the commercial and industrial, credit card, and lease financing portfolios.

 

Finally, the solvency of the industry remains strong with the equity capital to total assets at 8.81% in the first quarter of 2021, although lower than 11.74% in the first quarter of 2020. The reduction in the industry’s equity has been influenced by the deduction of $452 million in other comprehensive income in the 1Q’21 (i.e., $855 million negative variations during the 12 months ending in 1Q’21). The industry’s common equity to tier 1 ratio improved sequentially from 15.81% in 4Q’21 to 15.94% in 1Q’21 with the ratio remaining well above the 6.5% minimum regulatory requirement to be considered well-capitalized.

 

FINANCIAL STABILITY INDEX FOR THE CREDIT UNION INDUSTRY IN PUERTO RICO: FIRST QUARTER 2020

Leslie Adames

Director of Economic Analysis and Policy

 

The index measures the financial health of the industry in reference to four criteria: liquidity (i.e., total loans / deposits or LtD), solvency (i.e., capital to total assets or E / A), asset quality (i.e., nonperforming loans or NPL / Total Loans) and profitability (i.e., return on assets or ROA). The index fluctuates between [0,1], with values ​​approaching zero (0) indicating financial fragility and values ​​close to one (1) strength.

 

The index declined slightly from 0.66 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 0.64 in the first quarter of 2021. The index’s quarterly (i.e., QoQ) performance was driven by a reduction in the profitability and the solvency subindexes. The industry’s profitability remains under pressure as persistent low interest rate continues affecting the yield on loans and net interest margin (NIM). The industry’s NIM dropped from 3.78% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 3.74% in the first quarter of 2021 reflecting a reduction in loans yields from 7.33% to 7.28% despite a lower cost of funds which declined from 0.57% to 0.49% during the period. On the expense side, the industry’s provisions relative to its total loan portfolio which declined from 2.53% in the second quarter of 2020 to 2.42% in the fourth quarter of 2020, increased slightly to 2.47% in the first quarter of 2021.

 

The moderate reduction in the equity-to-total assets ratio was influenced by various factors. The industry’s total capital (i.e., excluding credit unions’ member stocks) declined from $532 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 to $524 million in the first quarter of 2021 influenced by a quarterly deduction of $21 million related to the reserve valuation of investment, partially offset by increases of $7 million in additional reserves and of $2 million in capital obligations. Meanwhile, the quarterly increase in the industry’s total assets was driven by incremental variations of $40.1 million in cash, $76 million in loan balances, $86 million in saving and CD’s accounts held with other institutions, and $133 million in investments and negotiable securities.

 

The number of credit union membership increased by 9,529 to 1.085 million members in the first quarter of 2021 when compared to the previous quarter.