The growth sectors in the Dominican Republic, according to a Central Bank report in 2008 were communications, banking, energy, tobacco and alcoholic beverages, construction and sugar, as reported in Hoy. The telecoms sector showed a growth of 15.7% of GDP this year. This growth is attributed to the increase in cell phones, up 19.6% during the first three quarters of the year. There are 6.5 million cell phones in operation and 1.4 million line-based phones. Banking had another good year with 14% growth, which nevertheless was half of last year.
The energy and water sector posted an 11% growth during the first three quarters, due mainly to increases in production of potable water, up 10.9%, up from 1.1% for all of 2007. This is attributed to an increase in rainfall during the year. Tobacco and alcoholic beverages showed new dynamism, with 8.6% growth, compared to a negative 7.1% last year. Rum production was up 6.4%, and beer production 9.3%, while soft drinks were up 9.5%, and cigars 24.4%, and cigarettes 9.6%, due to increased domestic sales and exports. The construction sector represented 5.3% of GDP, up compared to the 2.3% decline experienced in 2007. The difference is attributed to an increase in public works.
The sugar industry was also dynamic in 2008, with a 4.3% contribution to GDP, where raw sugar represented 5.2%, refined sugar 2.9% and molasses 3.0%. The increase is attributed to new investments in the sector. Nevertheless, this came at a time when exports were down 18.5% during the period.