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ECONOMY

Economy - overview:
The Dominican Republic has enjoyed strong GDP growth since 2005, with double-digit growth in 2006. In 2007, exports were bolstered by the nearly 50% increase in nickel prices; however, prices are expected to fall in 2008, contributing to a slowdown in GDP growth for the year. Although the country has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the source of nearly three-fourths of exports, and remittances represent about a tenth of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts. With the help of strict fiscal targets agreed to in the 2004 re-negotiation of an IMF standby loan, President FERNANDEZ has stabilized the country's financial situation, lowering inflation to less than 6%. A fiscal expansion is expected for 2008 prior to the elections in May and for Tropical Storm Noel reconstruction. Although the economy is growing at a respectable rate, high unemployment and underemployment remains an important challenge. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GNP, while the richest 10% enjoy nearly 40% of national income. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, which should boost investment and exports and diminish losses to the Asian garment industry.

Source:  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/dr.html#People

GDP (purchasing power parity): $61.79 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $36.4 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 8.5% (2007 est.) $7,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11.7%
industry: 23.8%
services: 64.4% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 4.027 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 17%
industry: 24.3%
services: 58.7% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate: 15.6% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 42.2% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 41.1% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 51.6 (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 17.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $7.942 billion
expenditures: $7.766 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 40.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Industries: tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate: 2.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 12.22 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption: 8.791 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 12 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 116,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 116,700 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 239.8 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 239.8 million cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$2.041 billion (2007 est.)
Major Trading Partners: USA, Venezuela, Belgium, Mexico, Japan
Exports: $7.237 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners: US 66.9%, Belgium 3.7%, Finland 3.4% (2006)
Imports: $13.82 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: US 44.5%, Venezuela 8.5%, Colombia 6.5%, Mexico 5.9% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $76.99 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.562 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $10.21 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $12.37 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $59 million (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): Dominican peso (DOP)
Exchange rates: Dominican pesos per US dollar - 33.113 (2007), 33.406 (2006), 30.409 (2005), 42.12 (2004), 30.831 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year