IMF mission chief highlights the recovery of the Dominican economy in 2021 was not a statistical rebound, but a real recovery of 5%

The governor of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD), Héctor Valdez Albizu, received the mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), headed by Esteban Vesperoni, who for two weeks has carried out, in compliance with Article IV of the Constitutive Agreement of the Fund, an evaluation of the economy of the Dominican Republic, reviewing its current state through interaction with departments of the Central Bank, as well as with other public and private economic institutions in the country.

Esteban Vesperoni explained to the governor that the IMF’s assessment of the performance of the Dominican economy is positive, “demonstrating remarkable resilience, due in large part to the successful response that has been sequenced in monetary and fiscal policy in the country.” In this vein, he highlighted the boost that monetary policy has given to the recovery of the economy, as well as the Government’s agility in offering aid to the most vulnerable sectors in times of weakness during the pandemic.

The IMF official stressed that “this year may present challenges due to a combination of elements such as the invasion of Ukraine, the pandemic that is once again gaining strength in relevant countries such as China, or the necessary normalization of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve (FED) of the United States, having been able to verify for our part that the Dominican Republic enters this period in a situation of strength”.

Vesperoni also found that the Dominican economy had a very important recovery in 2021 at the sector level, highlighting tourism for its importance and the constant growth in the number of tourists received.

Likewise, he stressed that “it is clear that the recovery of the Dominican economy in 2021 was not a statistical rebound, it was a real recovery of 5% in relation to the pre-pandemic, achieved in a climate of stability, in a period in which the external sector He has shown strength.” He also indicated that he was able to verify in his two weeks of meetings in the country that “the private sector understands and appreciates what has been achieved in terms of monetary policy.”

Vesperoni pointed out that the most important challenge going forward is to face inflationary pressures, “there is no country in the world that is exempt from this, since we are talking about energy, food, production chains, transportation, among other challenges. of the global economy”. He highlighted as correct the decisions on the increases in the monetary policy rate by the Central Bank to keep the expectations of economic agents anchored on the evolution of this variable.

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Regarding the perspectives, the head of the mission explained that “we see its economy converging to its potential level in a situation of a stable external sector and financial system.”

For his part, Governor Valdez Albizu pointed out that the vision obtained by the IMF mission is very consistent with that held by the Central Bank, indicating that, as he explained to the organization in a recent meeting, there was “a perfect storm on top of another storm perfect” that has affected the price of hydrocarbons, the availability of containers and the cost of freight, added to the problem of COVID-19, which paralyzed airports and trade.”

Likewise, he highlighted the effort made in monetary policy, which served as support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the export sector, as well as Dominican households, among other beneficiaries.

Valdez Albizu told Vesperoni that the Dominican economy recovered faster than expected in 2021, with a notable growth of 12.3%, equivalent to an expansion of 4.7% compared to the level of real production in 2019, prior to the pandemic. . He pointed out that the good performance has been maintained in the first quarter of this year with an accumulated growth of 6.1%.

The governor highlighted that the economic reactivation process benefited from the broad monetary stimulus program of approximately 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as from the significant improvement in the health situation.

In addition, he noted the rapid recovery of tourism. “During the first quarter of 2022, more than 1.7 million tourists have been received, which allows us to project that this year about 7 million visitors could be reached.”

The IMF mission, headed by Vesperoni, was made up of Pamela Madrid, Nicolás Fernández Arias, Mario Mansilla, Hassan Adan, Dirk Van Grolleman and the Dominican representative in that organization, Frank Fuentes.

Governor Valdez Albizu was accompanied by the lieutenant governor, Clarissa de la Rocha de Torres; the manager, Ervin Novas Bello; the deputy general manager, Frank Montaño Peña; the deputy manager of Monetary, Exchange and Financial Policies, Joel Tejeda Comprés; the advisor to the Government, Julio Andújar Scheker; and the deputy manager of National Accounts and Economic Statistics, Ramón Antonio González Hernández. Also present were the director of Monetary Programming and Economic Studies, Joel González; the director of the International department, Brenda Villanueva; the Director of Regulation and Financial Stability, Máximo Rodríguez; and the director of the Treasury department, Yamileh García Belén.

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