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Dominican Republic: Economy#

The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in construction, tourism, and free trade zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012 with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo Gold and Silver mine. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment, a large informal sector, and underemployment remain important long-term challenges.

The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about 7% of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and exports and reducing losses to the Asian garment industry.

The Dominican Republic's economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-15, and the fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012, a reduction in government spending, and lower energy costs helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6% of GDP in 2012 to 2.6% in 2015. A liability management operation in January 2015, in which the government paid down over $4 billion of the country’s Petrocaribe debt at a discount of 52% with proceeds from the sale of $2.5 billion in global bonds, reduced the country’s debt load by approximately by 4% of GDP. Analysts project 6% GDP growth in 2016 and inflation within the Central Bank’s target of 4.0% � 1.0%, due to low oil prices, increased remittances, and continued expansion in the services sector based on growth in construction.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$160.9 billion (2016 est.)
$151.9 billion (2015 est.)
$142 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$71.46 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate5.9% (2016 est.)
7% (2015 est.)
7.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,900 (2016 est.)
$15,200 (2015 est.)
$14,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 67.4%
government consumption: 10.7%
investment in fixed capital: 24.8%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 24%
imports of goods and services: -26.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 5.1%
industry: 32.8%
services: 62.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscocoa, tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Industriestourism, sugar processing, gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco, electrical components, medical devices
Industrial production growth rate7% (2016 est.)
Labor force5.113 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 14.4%
industry: 20.8%
services: 64.7% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate13.8% (2016 est.)
14% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line41.1% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 37.4% (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index47.1 (2013 est.)
45.7 (2012 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $11.17 billion
expenditures: $13 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues15.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt44% of GDP (2016 est.)
44.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.9% (2016 est.)
0.8% (2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
14.88% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$6.536 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.986 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$20.13 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$18.43 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$33.08 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$30.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Current account balance-$1.709 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.307 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$9.822 billion (2016 est.)
$9.523 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partnersUS 42.5%, Haiti 16.5%, Canada 8.1%, India 4.8% (2015)
Imports$16.67 billion (2016 est.)
$16.86 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partnersUS 42%, China 9.2%, Venezuela 5.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.5%, Mexico 4.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$5.566 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.266 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$26.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$25.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$33.39 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$31.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$372 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$272 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesDominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar -
46.2 (2016 est.)
45.052 (2015 est.)
45.052 (2014 est.)
43.556 (2013 est.)
39.34 (2012 est.)