Economy August 25, 2016 | 8:53 am

Dominican economy grows 7.4% in first half, paced by construction

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s economy grew 7.4%, inthe first half measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), the CentralBank affirmed Wednesday.

It said construction grew 17.7%, and has paced all sectorsduring 12 consecutive quarters, followed by; Mining (25.1%), Financialintermediation (11.0%), Health (9.5%), Agriculture (8.0%), other service activities(7.2%), education (7.0%), retail (6.2%), Local Manufacturing ( 6.0%), Transport(5.1%) and Hotels, Bars and Restaurants (4.9%).

Among the sectors which posted a decline figure free zone manufacturing,at -0.6%, a sharp downturn compared with its 5.8% growth in the same period in 2015.

In an emailed statement, the Central Bank the labor market’sbehavior is the result of economy’s dynamism. "The results of the NationalWorkforce Survey (ENFT) for April 2016 show that 173,402 jobs were created inthe 12 months from April 2015 to April 2016, for an average monthly ofapproximately 14,450 new employees in that period."

It said the 436,912 jobs created from October 2012 to April2016 lowered the open unemployment rate from 6.0% in April 2015 to 5.7% inApril 2016. “Similarly, the broad unemployment stood at 13.3% in April 2016,proving to be the lowest in the last two decades.”

“The financial system continues to strengthen, showingadequate indicators of capital sufficiency, asset quality, profitability andliquidity," with which it could face potential internal or externalshocks. “The total assets of the financial sector posted a growth of 11.0%.”

“Moreover, commercial banks June 2016 posted a solvencylevel of 15.6% and 17.1% for all financial intermediaries, well above the 10%set by the Monetary and Financial Law. The return on average equity of thetotal financial system was 15.6%, on assets of 1.8% and NPL of 1.7%, while inthe case of commercial banks the return on equity was 18.9%, 1.9% on assets and1.7% delinquency during that period.”

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