Dominican economy growing
Central Bank governor Hector Valdez Albizu revealed yesterday that the economy had grown by 7.5% in the first quarter, in contrast to the 1% growth in the same period of 2009. He said that this reflected a consolidation of the recovery process that began in the last quarter of 2009. The increase places the country among the economies that have reacted the fastest in the world to the financial turbulences and crisis in the United States. Likewise, he reported that the US$750 million from the sovereign bonds entered the country yesterday, which increases the bank’s international reserves. The resources will be used for infrastructure projects. He said that the economic growth that is taking place in the DR despite the lingering after-effects of the international economic crisis was pushed by the construction sector, which grew by 19.4%, in contrast with the same quarter a year ago when it fell by 21.9%. Also, commercial activity, which last year had fallen by 7%, saw a 15.7% increase; farming activities increased by 9.6%, similar to the previous year.
Energy and water grew by 9.5%, manufacturing by 9.3%, and in the same quarter of 2009 had fallen by 3.3%. Other sectors that pushed the economy were financial transactions and insurance, with a 7.3% growth rate, communications, with 6%, transportation at 5% and health with 4.4% increases. The Consumer Price Index increased by 0.36% and the accumulated inflation, January-April, reached 2.69%, and the underlying aggregate reached 0.92%. Valdez Albizu said that national exports reached US$571 million with an increase of 55% and an absolute variation of US$202.5 million. He talked about how the free zones fell off by 11.5% but less than the previous year. Meanwhile, total imports increased by US$642.3 million, an increase of 23.5% compared to 2009, while national consumption increased by US$652 million (29.9%), consistent with a greater internal demand of the economy as well as by an increase in petroleum bills.