Imports$17.42 billion (2011 est.)
Exports$8.536 billion (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)8.5% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate13.1% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,400 (2011 est.)
National product real growth rate4.2% (2010 est.)
Internet users2.701 million (2009)
Telephones - mobile cellular8.893 million (2009)
Population growth rate1.305% (2012 est.)
Population10,088,598 (July 2012 est.)
The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories.
Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland.
In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti....
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 tourism and free trade zones.
The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for nearly 60% of exports.
Remittances from the US amount to about a tenth of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts....
Economic activity continues to expand at a rate above potential, although recent data suggest that the pace of growth has moderated somewhat. Notwithstanding strong domestic fundamentals, we believe that ...