The Dominican Republic (DR) has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, averaging 5.3 percent annually between 1993 and 2018, one of the fastest rates in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. The pace accelerated to an average of 6.3 percent per year between 2014 and 2018 — and 7 percent in 2018, fueled by robust domestic demand. It was the fastest-growing LAC economy over that five-year period.
The sustained growth has reduced poverty and inequality, helping to expand the middle class. Using the Latin America and the Caribbean regional poverty lines, poverty was reduced from 34.4 percent to 19.9 percent while the proportion of the middle class rose from 24 percent to 37 percent between 2008 and 2016, outnumbering the poor for the first time in 2014.
The official national poverty rate fell from 22.8 percent in 2018 to 21.0 percent in 2019.
Building on the long-term National Development Strategy (Vision 2030), the government drafted the 2016-2020 Government Plan at the start of its second term. Presidential and congressional elections are scheduled to be held in July 2020.
The government has doubled education spending as a percentage of GDP since 2013 and implemented a series of reforms to improve learning outcomes.
The government has also joined the World Bank’s Human Capital Project, which provides a platform for countries to share experiences of improving human capital outcomes. These decisions — together with the choice to take part in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 and 2018 — are important steps toward tackling the barriers to human capital development.
Nevertheless, the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak is challenging the Dominican Republic’s ability to maintain stable economic growth and continued poverty reduction due to the local, regional, and international impacts of the pandemic. The major slowdown in the global economy poses risks given the DR’s dependence on international tourism and exports.
Source : Worldbank, May 13, 2020 (Link to report)