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Bahrain’s GDP grows at fastest rate in a decade

Bahrain's finance minister, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, said GDP growth reflected the government's work to build 'a sustainable, diverse and prosperous economy' Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Bahrain
Bahrain's finance minister, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, said GDP growth reflected the government's work to build "a sustainable, diverse and prosperous economy"
  • GDP rose by 4.9% and non-oil real GDP by 6.2% in 2022
  • Hotels and restaurants led way with 13.9% growth
  • Kingdom launched economic recovery plan in 2021

Bahrain has announced its highest rate of real GDP growth in almost a decade.

The kingdom’s GDP grew 4.9 percent in 2022, the fastest rate since 2013, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Finance and National Economy.

Non-oil real GDP increased by 6.2 percent last year, the highest rate since 2012 and above the 5 percent target in Manama’s economic recovery plan.

Hotels and restaurants led the way with 13.9 percent growth, followed by government services at 6.7 percent, real estate and business activities at 5.5 percent, trade at 5.4 percent, manufacturing at 4.9 percent, transportation and communications at 4.5 percent, financial corporations at 4.1 percent and construction at 1.4 percent.

The five-pillar recovery plan, launched in 2021, aims to improve the economy’s long-term competitiveness and support post-pandemic recovery. 

It is one of Bahrain’s largest transformation programmes, with over $30 billion available for investment plus labour market and regulatory reforms designed to make it easier to do business in the kingdom.

Bahrain also reported a drop in deficit to GDP to -1.1 percent, a drop in debt to GDP to 100 percent and a primary surplus of 3.3 percent.

Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the minister of finance and national economy, said: “The positive results posted today are the cumulation of many years of hard work and careful planning by the government of Bahrain to lay the foundations for a sustainable, diverse and prosperous economy.”

According to the IMF, GCC economies are expected to record a moderate GDP increase of 3.6 percent in 2023, off the back of slower oil production growth.

Bahrain is aiming to balance its budget by 2024.

The kingdom’s preliminary financial estimates for 2022 showed the deficit decreased by 85 percent, the finance ministry said last month.

Total oil revenues increased by 58 percent compared with budget estimates, according to the statement.

The country’s total public revenues increased by 42 percent to 3.49 billion dinars ($9.26 billion) compared with budget estimates, it added.

“The total fiscal deficit decreased by 85 percent to 178 million dinars, compared to the budget deficit estimate at 1.185 billion dinars,” the ministry said. 

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