This chart looks simple and harmless but I find it disarming.
I usually love the cheeky titles in the Economist but this title is very destructive to the data visualization. The chart has nothing to do with credit scores. In fact, credit scoring is associated with consumers while countries have credit ratings.
Also, I am not a fan of the Economist way of labeling negative axes. The negative sign situated between 0 and 1 looks like a stray hyphen that the editor missed.
A line chart would have brought out the pattern more sharply:
The pairing of columns in the original chart signals that readers should compare GDP growth to population growth. A good point, since GDP scales with population.
Controlling for population size can be accomplished by the per-capita GDP growth rate.
The last three years are clearly different. By this metric, different in a good way.
This chart creates a problem for the journalist. The article is about the deal to "save" Puerto Rico which some has criticized as colonial. Presumably, the territory has been in dire straits. There are plenty of metrics to illustrate this point but GDP growth is not one of them.