Bahrain Economic Forecast

Bahrain Economic Outlook

September 3, 2019

Economic growth likely slowed in the first half of this year, dragged on by the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts, which helped to reduce the fiscal deficit by nearly 38% in Bahraini dollar terms, and the introduction of a 5% VAT in January which will have weighed on private consumption growth. Moreover, as Bahrain complies with the OPEC+ agreement, oil production was likely stable, although output rebounded in annual terms in Q1 due to maintenance work at the offshore Abu Sa’afah field which had limited production in Q1 2018. More positively, merchandise exports increased at a strong year-on-year pace in H1. Moreover, turning to the third quarter, merchandise exports continued to grow robustly in July; however, lower oil prices bodes poorly for both exports and public finances.

Bahrain Economic Growth

Growth is expected to moderate this year due to constrained government spending and weaker household spending growth, while volatile oil prices cloud the outlook. Nonetheless, financial support from Gulf allies, the completion of Alba’s Line 6 expansion project and continued infrastructure spending will underpin growth. FocusEconomics analysts expect growth of 2.0% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.2% in 2020.

Bahrain Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)1.31.31.41.41.5
GDP per capita (USD)25,90025,32122,70022,61024,243
GDP (USD bn)32.533.331.132.235.2
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)5.44.42.93.53.8
Consumption (annual variation in %)-  -  -  -  -  
Investment (annual variation in %)16.95.9-8.510.811.0
Unemployment Rate4.33.83.54.3-  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-3.3-3.6-13.0-13.4-10.1
Public Debt (% of GDP)41.742.660.371.779.8
Money (annual variation in %)8.26.52.91.24.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)3.32.71.92.81.4
Policy Interest Rate (%)0.500.500.751.001.75
Exchange Rate (vs USD)0.380.380.380.380.38
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)0.380.380.380.380.38
Current Account (% of GDP)7.44.6-2.4-4.6-3.8
Current Account Balance (USD bn)2.41.5-0.8-1.5-1.3
Trade Balance (USD billion)4.33.70.8-0.8-0.7
Exports (USD billion)25.523.416.512.815.3
Imports (USD billion)21.219.715.713.616.0
Exports (annual variation in %)10.9-8.2-29.6-22.720.2
Imports (annual variation in %)8.0-7.0-20.6-13.518.3
International Reserves (USD)5.05.73.12.22.3

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Bahrain Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate0.380.03 %Sep 04
Stock Market1,5420.04 %Sep 04

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