(Adds more economic information and background, paragraphs 3, 4)
Sept 24 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico’s Economic Activity Index for the month of July fell 0.7 percent year over year, while the index for the month of August was flat year over year, the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico reported on Thursday.
Preliminary data shows lower cement sales, less gasoline consumption and less electric power generation appear to have contributed to the decline in economic activity.
Total non-farm payroll employment for July 2015 averaged 892,800, an annual increase of 0.6 percent.
Puerto Rico has suffered nearly a decade of recession. Its $72 billion debt load has accumulated, while the number of taxpayers shouldering the burden has dwindled, with thousands moving to the U.S. mainland each year. (Reporting by Robin Respaut; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)