NY Fed chief urges Puerto Rico government to move quickly to repair island's economy

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The president of New York’s Federal Reserve Bank is urging Puerto Rico’s government to adopt several measures to help pull the island out of a nearly decade-long economic slump.

William Dudley said Tuesday during a visit in Puerto Rico that the New York Fed is working on a report that will analyze the U.S. territory’s fiscal health.

Dudley says Puerto Rico’s government should aim to lower its debt, reform its tax system and strengthen labour market incentives among other things. He says the next three to six months are critical.

The recommendations come as the island of 3.7 million people struggles with $70 billion in public debt and a 13.8 per cent unemployment rate. Its jobless rate is higher than in any U.S. state.