The Dominican economy grew 7.1% during 2014, registering the fastest growth in all of Latin America, and surpassing by six percentage points the 1.1% estimated average for the region%, announced the country’s Central Bank.
The tourism sector grew by 7.9%, with the arrival of 5.1 million tourists and foreign investment in tourism registered a growth of 13.4%. Inflation for 2014 closed at 1.58%, the second lowest inflation rate in Latin America.
In total, 450,880 additional visitors, representing a growth of 9.6% over the previous year, entered the country during 2014.
Foreign exchange earnings generated by the tourism sector reached an unprecedented US$ 5.6 billion, a solid growth of 10.6%. Foreign investment in the sector grew by 13.4%.
Overall, the Central Bank reported positive growth in all of the country’s economic activities: Agriculture (5.2%), mining (20.9%), local manufacturing (5.0%), construction (11.4%), trade (4.7%), hotels, bars and restaurants (7.9%), brokerage and financial services (8.6%), education (8.4%) and health (7.6%), among others.
Inflation during 2014 closed at 1.58%, the second lowest inflation registered in Latin America and after El Salvador dollarized its economy.
“The result was influenced largely by low inflationary pressures from external sources, including the drop in the price of oil,” explained the Central Bank.
Foreign direct investment reached US$2.2 billion by the end of 2014, US$247.1 million more than the number registered in 2013.
This number represents a growth of 12.4%. This significant jump was directly related to the significant investments in the trade (28.7%), energy (16.3%) and tourism (13.4%) sectors, respectively.
These numbers attest to the Dominican Republic’s positioning as an attractive investment destination for foreign investors.
The Central Bank also highlighted the stability of the country’s exchange rate during 2014, which closed on December 31, 2014 at RD$44.36 per US$1.00. These numbers fall below what had been projected for this year by the Dominican Government.
The depreciation level was 3.5%, in reference to 2013, a very favorable percentage in comparison to the levels experienced by many Latin America countries: Venezuela (87.4%), Argentina (23.7%), Colombia (19.5%), Chile (13.8 %), Uruguay (12.1%), Brazil (11.8%), Mexico (11.2%), Costa Rica (6.9%), Peru (6.4%), Nicaragua (4.8%) and Honduras (4.3%) during 2014.