Puerto Rico’s Economy and Stock Market

Puerto Rico has a diverse economy that is sustained mainly through the industrial sector. Up until the 1940's it was sugarcane production and later it was the agricultural sector that dominated Puerto Rico's economy. The agricultural sector focuses mainly on livestock like pigs, cattle and poultry.

The island on a whole does not have a lot of natural resources to tap in to and, as mentioned before, Puerto Rico relies on the industrial sector, tax incentives and Federal Aid given by the U.S. Government. Pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, textiles, electronics, clothing and processed food are just some of the examples of the industries Puerto Rico has.

Between 1987 and 1997 Puerto Rico’s exports and imports doubled due to many U.S. firms investing in the country and because of the tax incentives and duty free access into the United States.

One cannot underestimate the impact tourism has on the country. With as many as 3.9 million visitors in 1993 and over 60,000 people employed by the tourism industry, the numbers have continued to grow exponentially.

The island of Puerto Rico is not an independent country, but rather is part of the United States and therefore uses the same currency. This is the U.S. dollar or ‘peso’ as it is referred to by Puerto Ricans. The top five companies on the Puerto Rico Stock Exchange include Oriental Financial group, Eurobancshares Inc, R&G Financial Corp- Cl B, Santander Bancorp and Dora Financial corp.

The Gross National Product for 2003 was $47.4 billion, $12,239 per capita and a purchasing power parity of $72.37 billion and 18,500 per capita in 2005. The Gross Domestic Product is made up of nine sectors: manufacturing sector, trade, finance, insurance and real estate, services, government, agriculture, transport and other public utilities, mining and construction.

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