Growth surging ahead
The Kingdom’s Ministry of Finance and National Economy yesterday said that the strong economic growth results in the first quarter of 2019 reflect the government’s commitment to balancing fiscal consolidation efforts with economic development. Bahrain’s economy recorded a year-on-year real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 2.7 percent in Q1 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.
Non-oil sector real GDP growth reached 1.5pc, with large contributions from the hotels and restaurants sector, which recorded the fastest growth in all sectors of 8pc, followed by the financial corporations and construction sectors, which expanded by 3.5pc and 2.9pc respectively.
The oil sector’s real GDP grew by 9.2pc, driven by the increase in crude oil production rates of 7.8pc. The ministry noted that the largest non-oil sector contributor to Bahrain’s GDP is the financial corporations sector, contributing around 16.8pc. The manufacturing sector comes second with a contribution to GDP of 14.1pc, followed by government services sector at 12.7pc, the transportation and communications sector at 7.6pc, and the construction sector with a contribution to GDP of 7.4pc.
The ministry highlighted the expansion of the Kingdom’s tourism sector. Bahrain attracted 3.2 million inbound tourists in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 3.1pc over the same period last year, while the number of international arrivals entering the country reached 3.5 million, an increase of 3.1pc over the same period last year.
Hotel occupancy rates at five-star hotels reached 53pc in Q1 2019 compared to 50pc in the same period last year while occupancy rates at the Kingdom’s four-star hotels reached 46pc compared to 42pc during the same period last year. Financial sector performance data also continues to improve. Money supply (M3) increased significantly, reaching BD13.2 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2019 – a 6.5pc increase.