The Economic Activity Index improved by 3.3% in August, compared to August 2020. With an increase to 119.4, August is the 6th month with an increase since the start of the pandemic. Starting March 2020, the EAI had been decreasing on an month over month basis but in March 2021 these decreases halted. On an m-o-m basis, the index increased by 0.2%. Through the period from January to August, the EAI improved by 2.7% annually. However, August was the month with the smallest increase in the index.
The EAI is composed of total non-farm payroll employment, electric power generation, gasoline consumption, and cement sales. Of these categories, all increased except cement sales which had a 6% drop on an m-o-m basis, and a 13.8% decrease compared to August 2020. Gasoline consumption in August increased 1.3% with respect to July and increased 3.5% compared to August 2020. Electric power generation for August grew by 1.8% on an m-o-m basis, and 2.2% compared to August 2020. Total non-farm payroll averaged 861,500 jobs, an expansion of 0.7% on an m-o-m basis and 4.2% annual increase.
Certain sectors of the payroll have yet to recover from the job losses caused by the pandemic. Worker scarcity may present difficulties for sectors most affected by the pandemic, like entertainment and hospitality. Manufacturing shortages and port congestions may also have adverse effects on the economy in the next months. Other factors like gasoline and electric energy inflation also create difficulties for economic recovery.