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Weekly Chart: The Mathematics of Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis

July 01, 2015

Puerto Rico has 3x the debt-to-GDP ratio of any U.S. state.
Earning the federal minimum wage in Puerto Rico is a much better deal than in the U.S. mainland.

Puerto Rico is facing $72 billion in debt, and an economic panorama much worse than previously thought, according to a report issued on June 29. “The debt,” Governor Alejandro García Padilla told The New York Times, “is not payable.” That day, Fitch downgraded Puerto Rican general obligation debt from a B to a CC rating, and Standard & Poor’s similarly lowered its credit rating for Puerto Rico from CCC+ to CCC- hours after a June 29 broadcast evening address from the governor.  In the address, García stressed the need for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy, for which Puerto Rico currently is not eligible, though on June 30, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said in an email that he and Senator Richard Blumenthal would introduce a bill that would allow for it, according to Bloomberg.

Below, we take a look at some of the key economic indicators hamstringing the island’s economy.