The Economic Activity index in September 2021 was 120.3, a 2.7% increase compared to September 2020. Compared to August, the index gained 0.9 points and grew by 0.75%. On a year-over-year comparison, the EAI increased by 2.7% for the seventh consecutive month after a year of decreases caused by the global pandemic. Compared to September 2019, the EAI in September decreased by 2.2%. Before the pandemic began in March 2020, the EAI stood at 122.1. In September the EAI is 1.47% behind February 2020.
The EAI is made up of 4 indicators: total payroll, total electric power generation, cement sales and gasoline consumption. Total non-farm payroll employment in September had an annual increase of 3.3.% and 0.01% with respect to August. Electric power generation for September decreased by 2.2% compared to August and grew 1.3% annually. Cement sales grew by 0.8% compared to August and decreased by 11.4% annually. Gasoline consumption had an annual increase of 0.6% and decreased by 0.1% compared to August. The natural year 2020 closed with a drop of 5%, The average from January to September in 2021 shows an improvement of 2.7% on a y-o- comparison.
Some of the key elements that have been affecting the EAI are labor difficulties, supply-chain issues, new virus waves and petroleum prices. The difficulties on the labor market are aggravating the ability to recover to pre-pandemic levels because of recruitment issues, low attendance, and high turnover rates. The unavailability of manufacturing materials caused by the global supply-chain and production adversity have also had an effect on the EAI. Higher petroleum costs are causing higher energy prices, which affects consumption. As COVID cases rise, and recovery stalls, it aggravates the situations in ports, businesses reopenings, and global production.