Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Approximately
billion in 1987, roughly US$800 per capita.
Agriculture: Accounted for about 15 percent of
employed some 35 percent of labor force, and generated
approximately half of all exports in 1988. Sugar
the major crop, although its importance declined steadily
1970s and 1980s. Coffee, cacao, and tobacco also produced
export. Exports of nontraditional agricultural products,
particularly pineapple and citrus fruit, expanded in
Industry: Manufacturing, mining, and
combined to contribute over 31 percent of GDP in 1988.
industries also employed almost 10 percent of labor force
accounted for two-thirds of country's exports. Assembly
manufacturing subsector achieved fastest growth in 1980s
result of government expansion of Industrial Free Zones
throughout country. Major mineral exports gold, silver,
and nickel, all of which had low prices on world markets
1980s. Construction benefited greatly from government
works projects and expansion of tourist industry.
Services: Tourism leading service industry;
sugar as country's leading foreign-exchange earner in
Government supported development of tourist industry, but
economic shortcomings such as inadequate water and energy
and shortages of construction materials slowed expansion
facilities and adversely affected service to visitors.
services contributed 7 percent to GDP in 1988;
communications accounted for additional 6 percent.
Currency: Dominican Republic peso (RD$),
100 centavos. Peso maintained on a par with United States
until 1985, when it was allowed to float against dollar.
peso plunged, reaching a low of US$1=RD$8 in mid-1988, but
rebounded slightly to US$1=RD$6.35 by 1989.
Imports: Approximately US$1.5 million in 1987,
level ever recorded. Oil imports declined on a percentage
from 1980 to 1987, but imports of intermediate goods,
goods, and capital goods increased over same period,
to negative trade balance.
Exports: Approximately US$718 million in 1987, a
tenyear low. Decline in export value mainly attributable to
sugar prices on world market from 1984-87.
Balance of Payments: Overall deficit reached
million in 1987, roughly 11 percent of GDP. Effect of
cushioned somewhat by cash remittances from Dominicans
abroad, tourism, a draw down of reserves, and rescheduling
country's foreign debt.
Calendar year, except
in case of State Sugar Council (Consejo Estatal de
which runs on cycle October 1 to September 30.
Fiscal Policy: Fiscal deficits mounted in 1980s,
as result of dwindling revenues. Revenues fell from 16
GDP in 1970 to 10 percent in 1982, as Dominican
provided tax incentives to business without securing
alternate sources of revenue. Although not exorbitant
GDP, expenditures continued to rise throughout 1980s as
government maintained subsidies on imported foodstuffs,
public utilities, and transportation in order to keep
artificially low for low-income consumers. Debt service
for 22 percent of total expenditures in 1988 budget. Under
President Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo, expanded public works
programs boosted capital expenditures from 30 percent to
percent of budget.
Data as of December 1989