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Country Forecast Dominican Republic September 2017 Updater

Country Forecast Dominican Republic September 2017 Updater

  • September 2017
  • ID: 1698375

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  • The president, Danilo Medina of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD), will benefit from the PLD's control of Congress until his term ends in 2020. The Partido Revolucionario Moderno will be the main opposition force during the forecast period. Its candidate in 2016, Luis Abinader, is likely to run again in 2020, but term limits currently prohibit Mr Medina from doing so.
  • Mr Medina will pursue policies to upgrade the education system, alleviate poverty, support farmers, and help small and medium-sized enterprises. Much-needed electricity and labour reforms will also be part of the agenda, but are unlikely to materialise in the medium term. Corruption will become a greater public concern, and will remain a problem, with a damaging effect on the business climate.
  • The fiscal deficit will narrow in 2017-18, from 2.8% of GDP in 2016, owing to fiscal measures introduced in late 2016 to boost revenue. It will widen modestly in 2019-ahead of the elections-before being reined in. The fiscal deficit and the debt burden will remain manageable throughout the forecast period.
  • GDP growth will slow from 6.6% in 2016 to more sustainable levels in 2017-21, averaging 3.7%. Firm demand in the US (notwithstanding a brief slowdown in 2020 will provide support.
  • Inflation will rise from an average of 1.6% in 2016 to an average of 3.1% in 2017-21, and the peso will weaken at a steady crawl. From an average of 2.5% of GDP in 2017-18 the current-account deficit will widen to an average of 3.4% of GDP in 2019-21 as oil prices rise. Inflows from mineral exports, tourism and remittances will be strong, but debt interest payments will also grow. Foreign direct investment will average 3.1% of GDP in 2017-21, sufficient to cover most of the current-account deficit.
  • Government social spending and workers' remittances will bolster consumer demand and household consumption. The population is relatively young, and the old-age dependency ratio will remain low. However, high rates of poverty and inequality will restrict broader market opportunities.
  • The business climate will be suboptimal, reflecting infrastructure deficiencies and low skill levels. Roads are improving, but energy supply problems will affect business until structural reforms to the sector are introduced. Foreign investment will be drawn mainly into tourism, real estate, energy, commerce and communications.


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