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Dominican Republic
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Economy

Economy - overview: In December 1996, incoming President FERNANDEZ presented a bold reform package for this Caribbean economy - including 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 most reforms are stalled in the legislature - including the intellectual property rights bill, social security reform, and a new electricity law first submitted in 1993 - the economy has grown vigorously under FERNANDEZ's administration. Construction, tourism and telecommunications are leading the advance. The government is working to increase electric generating capacity, a key to continued economic growth; the state electricity company was finally privatized following numerous delays. The continuation of this vigorous growth in 2000 will depend on the policies adopted by the new administration.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $43.7 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 8.3% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,400 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13.6%
industry: 30.8%
services: 55.6% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: 25% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 39.6% (1989)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.1% (1999)

Labor force: 2.3 million to 2.6 million

Labor force - by occupation: services and government 58.7%, industry 24.3%, agriculture 17% (1998 est.)

Unemployment rate: 13.8% (1999 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $2.3 billion
expenditures: $2.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $867 million (1999 est.)

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

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

Electricity - production: 8.476 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 72.04%
hydro: 27.62%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.34% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 7.883 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs

Exports: $5.1 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats

Exports - partners: US 61.6%, Belgium 11.1%, Asia 5.9%, Canada 2.9% (1998 est.)

Imports: $8.2 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners: US 56%, Venezuela 23%, Mexico 9%, Japan 4% (1999 est.)

Debt - external: $3.7 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $239.6 million (1995)

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

Exchange rates: Dominican pesos (RD$) per US$1 - 16.161 (January 2000), 16.033 (1999), 15.267 (1998), 14.265 (1997), 13.775 (1996), 13.597 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year



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