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Dominican Today, Dom. Rep., August 2, 2007

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FROM LATIN BUSINESS CHRONICLE

Dominican Economy: GDP winner

MIAMI.- The Dominican Republic is among the top growth economies in Latin America this and next year, according to new forecasts from United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

This year, the Dominican economy will likely grow by 7.5 percent, the same as Argentina, ECLAC says. Only Panama will have a better performance, growing at 8.5 percent.

Next year, Dominican GDP should expand another 6.0 percent, the same as Peru's GDP, ECLAC predicts. Again only Panama will have a better performance, with a GDP expansion of 7.5 percent.

All in all, Latin America is set for GDP growth of 5.0 percent this year and 4.6 percent next year, ECLAC forecasts. That means ECLAC is more bullish than the IMF, which in its latest outlook had predicted growth of 4.9 percent and 4.2 percent for 2007 and 2008.

"Against the backdrop of an extraordinary performance on the part of the world economy, which is enjoying solid, widespread growth, the Latin American and Caribbean countries are currently going through extremely favorable economic times," ECLAC said in its report, Economic Survey of Latin America and Caribbean 2006-2007.

If the forecasts are correct, Latin America's per capita GDP will have risen by 20.6 percent by the time it completes its sixth consecutive year of growth, ECLAC points out.

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