Rallying, with inflation and police violence the main issues

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Report 13 May 2022 by Magdalena Lizardo

Given the atmosphere of global uncertainty, everything would seem to indicate that the Dominican economy is managing to overcome the situation well, and without great difficulties, except for the problem of inflation.

GDP grew 6.1% in Q1 2022, compared to the same period in 2021; exports of tourism and goods continued to increase; and international reserves remained at above $14 billion. But annualized inflation was 9.1% in March, slightly higher than the 9% of February, and showing an upward trend since November 2021. The biggest increase in prices was in transportation, the government’s fuel price subsidies notwithstanding.

The fiscal account showed a positive balance as of April, thanks to strong containment of capital spending, and due to the fact that income and current spending in global terms have been evolving according to schedule.

Though high inflation is a source of public discontent, the incidents of brutality by the national police, as evidenced by the death of non-criminal civilians arrested by that body, were another source of anger at the end of April. Although President Luis Abinader has spoken of a commitment to tackling police force reform since his presidential campaign, this is a complex problem, and the public is not sure whether the government can solve it.

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