The Dominican Republic is the fastest-growing economy in the Americas, with the Caribbean country reporting 7% growth in GDP for 2015. An increase in tourist arrivals, rising foreign remittances, and low oil prices are the factors fueling the economy, according to the country’s central bank.
Tourism is the chief contributor of growth. As the U.S. economy has recovered in recent years, more Americans are taking vacations in this Caribbean island, generating thousands of jobs and strengthening the country’s foreign currency reserves.
Dominican officials expect a further increase in tourism activity in upcoming years, with the construction of major hospitality projects like Cap Cana, San Souci Port in Santo Domingo, and the Moon Palace Resort in Punta Cana.
Growth in U.S. economy has also contributed to a growth in remittances, as nearly one million Dominicans live in the United States. Foreign investments have also been one of the key factors that helped the Dominican Republic stay on top of the economic battle. Another encouraging sign for the future was the the U.S. recently lifting a ban on farm exports from Dominican Republic that was established once a certain breed of fruit fly was discovered on the island. This ban had cost the country US$400 in farm export revenue.
Despite the rapid economic growth in the Dominican Republic, inflation has remained at 2.3%, below the 4% target set by the government, and the country’s current account deficit is also narrowing gradually to less than 3% of GDP.
According to a projection from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Panama will lead regional growth 2016 with an expansion of 6.2%, followed by Dominica and the Dominican Republic (5.2%).
According to Latinobarómetro 2004-2015 report, Dominicans are no longer doubting the economic fortunes of their country and are somewhat satisfied with the economic development activities.
According to the World Bank, Latin America overall saw a nearly 1 percent drop in its GDP last year. The bank predicts the region as a whole will see zero economic growth this year.