Local September 16, 2015 | 12:40 pm

Dominican central banker sticks to his guns on low-wage flap

Santo Domingo.- CentralBanker Hector Valdez Albizu on Wednesday told big business his statement thatlow wages lead to higher crime is something the population complains about andhas even been voiced by global organizations such as the International MonetaryFund (IMF).

The official also calledthe exchange rate relatively stable and attributed its latest climb to the "blackSeptember" period when businesses renew inventory prompting a higher demandfor dollars.

He said the rate isbelow the projected average of RD$45.20 and RD$45.22 per dollar. "As ofyesterday the dollar had only moved 1.9% and the estimated annual average is atRD$45.40," which Valdez affirms is expected in the coming weeks, “when theseinventories run out and the high tourist season begins, the dollar returns toits normal behavior.”

Growth

The central banker saidthe economy will close this year with a growth above 6%, or nearly 7% of GDP."I think we will be the fastest growing country in Latin America."

Big business

Valdez said when he referredto low wages he was conveying the population´s complaint that it doesn’t benefitfrom the economic growth which the Central Bank cites in its reports. “What I didwas repeat the indication of International Monetary Fund (IMF) director ChristineLagarde herself that a 20% wage increase generates an overall improvement of 1%GDP and thus a reduction of poverty.”

"This is ademocratic and pluralistic country where everyone has the right to expresstheir ideas and deliberately and willfully interpret what someone says in goodfaith, and I respect that," the official said.

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