Economic gains were led by tourism, according to Bahrain Economic Development Board
Bahrain GDP advances 3.9 per cent in 2017
Bahrain’s real gross domestic produce (GDP) advanced 3.9 per cent in 2017 compared to 3.2 per cent in 2016, with the non-oil economy expanding 5 per cent, the fastest rate of growth in the GCC last year, according to Bahrain Economic Development Board.
The gains were led by growth in tourism, figures from the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly showed.
“Bahrain’s economic resilience aligns with broader regional and global trends in which we see more diversified economies tending to achieve faster growth,” said Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at the Bahrain Economic Development Board.
“Region-wide, business confidence and growth momentum are set to benefit from a more benign outlook in the oil sector and we expect 2018 to mark an important milestone as the GCC makes the economic paradigm shift towards diversified private sector led growth economies.”
The hotel and restaurant sector grew 9.5 per cent in 2017, with total visitor expenditure rising 8.9 per cent. The average length of visits increased 2.5 per cent to 2.82 days. Elsewhere, social and personal services rose 9.5 per cent, led by private education and healthcare, while trade gained 8.5 per cent, real estate and professional services 5.5 per cent and financial services 5 per cent.
While Bahrain continues to diversify its economy, oil and gas still remains a key component to the country’s economy. The oil and gas sector accounts for 18.4 per cent of Bahrain’s real GDP compared to 43.6 per cent in 2000. The sector recently got a boost from a major hydrocarbon discovery, the 2,000 square kilometre Khalij al Bahrain field, which is expected to start production within the coming five years.
The Bahrain Economic Quarterly, produced by Bahrain Economic Development Board, noted that the economic outlook for the GCC was brighter in 2018 as a pronounced shift to economic diversification and fiscal consolidation bears fruit.