Dominican Republic: Economy plunges in Q2 overall, although contraction eases in May and June
August 4, 2020
The economy contracted 16.8% in the second quarter according to monthly economic activity (IMAE) data as domestic lockdown measures and the border closure crushed activity (Q1: +0.2% year-on-year). While a breakdown by sector has yet to be made available, Q2’s reading was likely driven by steep falls in the hotels, bars and restaurants; construction; and mining sectors. More positively, economic activity started to recover in May and June, after reaching a low point in April, as containment measures were lifted.
Turning to the second half of the year, despite the reopening of international borders from 1 July, the rebound in the economy could stall after the government reimposed the state of emergency until 10 August due to surging new Covid-19 cases. Health concerns will also temper tourist arrivals.
Regarding the medium-term outlook, Carlos de Sousa, economist at Oxford Economics, comments: “We expect a sharp rebound in 2021, supported by expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, but the economy will remain below its pre-crisis trend as the tourism sector is unlikely to recover its 2019 level until 2023.”