Economy in Dominican Republic

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Economy—overview: Economic reforms launched in late 1994 contributed to exchange rate stabilization reduced inflation and strong GDP growth in 1995-96. In 1996 there was increased mineral and petroleum exploration and a new investment law that allows for repatriation of capital dividends has drawn more investment to the island. Upon coming to power in August 1996 President FERNANDEZ nevertheless inherited a trouble-ridden economy hampered by a pressured peso a large external debt nearly bankrupt state-owned enterprises and a manufacturing sector hindered by daily power outages. In December FERNANDEZ presented a bold economic reform package—including such reforms as the devaluation of the peso income tax cuts a 50% increase in sales taxes reduced import tariffs and increased gasoline prices—in an attempt to create a market-oriented economy that can compete internationally. Even though reforms are moving ahead at a slow pace the economy grew vigorously in 1997 with tourism and telecommunications leading the advance. The government is working to increase electric generating capacity a key to continued economic growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$38.3 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 7% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$4 700 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 15%

industry: 22%

services: 63% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 10.9% (1997 est.)

Labor force: 2.3 million to 2.6 million

by occupation: agriculture 50% services and government 32% industry 18% (1991 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (1996 est.)

Budget:

revenues: $2 billion

expenditures: $2 billion including capital expenditures of $994 million (1996 est.)

Industries: tourism sugar processing ferronickel and gold mining textiles cement tobacco

Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 1.447 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 6.5 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 865 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: sugarcane coffee cotton cocoa tobacco rice beans potatoes corn bananas; cattle pigs dairy products meat eggs

Exports:

total value: $815 million (f.o.b. 1996)

commodities: ferronickel sugar gold coffee cocoa

partners: US 45% EU 34% Canada Japan Puerto Rico (1995)

Imports:

total value: $3.7 billion (f.o.b. 1996)

commodities: foodstuffs petroleum cotton and fabrics chemicals and pharmaceuticals

partners: US 44% EU 16% Venezuela 11% Netherlands Antilles Mexico Japan (1995)

Debt—external: $3.6 billion (1997)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $21 million (1993)

Currency: 1 Dominican peso (RD$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Dominican pesos (RD$) per US$1—14.332 (December 1997) 14.265 (1997) 13.775 (1996) 13.597 (1995) 13.160 (1994) 12.676 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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