Inclusive Growth: Challenges and Opportunities for Central America and the Dominican Republic

Feb 2018
Prat, Jordi; López, Arnoldo
Central America and the Dominican Republic had stable economic growth in 2017. The performance of the United States economy and low commodity prices, mainly oil, meant that the key indicators for the region did not change abruptly. It is worth noting that safeguarding the stability of public finances remains the main challenge for the region. In the short run, we expect the fiscal deficit and public debt to maintain their upward trend, thus putting pressure on interest rates, which would have a negative impact on economic growth. This trend has implied in downward revisions to the region’s economic outlook. Growth in the region has been higher than the rest of Latin America, but its impact on reducing poverty and improve income distribution, has been limited. The report explores options to make growth more inclusive in Central America and the Dominican Republic. It highlights the need to bolster human capital accumulation, take advantage of integration with other trade partners, and generate buffers for political decision-making in a highly uncertain environment, in order ensure that growth can benefit the highest number of people in the region.