The global credit crisis means it will also be tougher for Puerto Ricans to borrow money. It's safe to say that most consumers here rely heavily on their credit cards. For the longest time, there was zero sales tax here in Puerto Rico. This changed two years ago, when the government slapped on a 7% sales tax. Certain essential items are exempt, like bread, milk and other staples. The cost of living in the island is certainly not cheap. Here are some examples:
1) Low-fat milk (1 gallon): $5.60
2) Gala apples (1 pound): $1.89
3) Brocoli (1 bunch): $3.50
4) Holsum white bread (1 loaf): $2.67
5) Farm-raised salmon (1 pound): $7.99
Please keep in mind the average income in Puerto Rico is only $18,400. Also, the agricultural sector here makes up a very small percentage of the economy. As a result, practically everything here is imported. Generally speaking, wages are also much higher in the mainland. I suppose this explains why so many Puerto Ricans have migrated to the States in search for better economic opportunities. With such a high cost of living, which just seems to be going nowhere but up, everybody's wallet is definitely feeling the pinch. This also helps to explain why the economy is of utmost concern for the majority of Puerto Ricans in the upcoming elections.
(Cartoon by KAL, The Economist)