Report: Maria had $43B impact on Puerto Rico’s economy

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A report from Puerto Rico’s government says Hurricane Maria had a $43 billion impact on the U.S. territory’s economy, $1 billion more than originally estimated.

The Puerto Rico Planning Board’s report says its calculations took into account millions of dollars received so far in federal hurricane recovery funds and insurance money.

Overall, the board found that the capital of San Juan was among the six most affected cities on the island after the Category 4 storm hit in September 2017, causing more than an estimated $100 billion in damage.

“Given the magnitude of the natural disaster, the economic sectors will keep feeling the impact for an undetermined amount of time,” the report says.

The board said it came up with the $43 billion figure in part via questionnaires issued to the public and private sectors as well as statistics provided by professional associations through October.

Puerto Rico economist Jose Caraballo said in a phone interview Monday that federal aid and insurance payouts so far have covered only 24 per cent of the losses reported.

“A lot remains to be done,” he said. “The economic impact of the reconstruction has not been felt.”

The government said losses for the private sector alone totalled $30 billion, with manufacturing reporting the highest loss of income and agriculture among the highest damage to infrastructure and equipment.

The report comes as Puerto Rico struggles to emerge from a 12-year-old recession and tries to restructure a portion of its more than $70 billion public debt.

As the economic crisis continues, Puerto Rico’s governor and a federal control board overseeing the island’s finances continue to clash.

On Monday, the board accused Gov. Ricardo Rossello of signing three executive orders related to increasing employee compensation or benefits without its approval. It also said Rossello has enacted nearly 100 laws without following required protocol. The board warned it would take unspecified action if the governor does not submit the required documents.

A spokesman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Masks were made mandatory in any workplace setting across Alberta as the premier introduced sweeping measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Paul Cowley/ Advocate Staff)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

Lynne McConnell, a Red Deer single mom who runs a delivery company, is left without a car for her business after her vehicle was stolen twice in about 48 hours. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Highway 11, from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House, is about to be twinned in a $120-million project announced Friday. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Town of Sylvan Lake likes Highway 11 twinning plans

Province plans to twin Highway 11 to Rocky Mountain House

Lynn Van Laar, chair of this year’s Christmas Wish Breakfast, said the event was planned outdoors to minimize the risk of COVID. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Outdoor Christmas Wish Breakfast helps central Alberta families this holiday season

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going to stop children from having a merry… Continue reading

QMJHL Roundup: Armada down Olympiques to extend win streak to seven games

QMJHL Roundup: Armada down Olympiques to extend win streak to seven games

Nashville SC ends Toronto FC’s season with stunning 1-0 extra time upset

Nashville SC ends Toronto FC’s season with stunning 1-0 extra time upset

Juve, Barça, Chelsea, Sevilla advance in Champions League

Juve, Barça, Chelsea, Sevilla advance in Champions League

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) brings the ball up court against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the first half of NBA basketball action in Toronto on January 28, 2020. The Raptors officially annoucned that VanVleet has agreed to a multi-year contract with the team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet says contract negotiations were “easy”

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet says contract negotiations were “easy”

FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch waves to the crowd before an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers in Cincinnati on March 17, 2019. Canadian Premier League team FC Edmonton has hired Koch as head coach and director of football operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, John Minchillo
FC Edmonton names Alan Koch coach of Canadian Premier League club

FC Edmonton names Alan Koch coach of Canadian Premier League club

Time running short for NHL to start next season Jan. 1

Time running short for NHL to start next season Jan. 1

Former Chicago Blackhawk Fred Sasakamoose, one of the first Indigenous pro hockey players, is honoured at the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks game in Edmonton on December 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fred Sasakamoose, Indigenous NHL pioneer, dies at age 86 after presumed COVID-19 case

Fred Sasakamoose, Indigenous NHL pioneer, dies at age 86 after presumed COVID-19 case

Thanksgiving lessons jettison Pilgrim hats, welcome truth

Thanksgiving lessons jettison Pilgrim hats, welcome truth

Most Read