Bahrain to grow 2.6pc in 2021: Reuters poll | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain to grow 2.6pc in 2021: Reuters poll

TDT | Agencies

The Daily Tribune –

Bahrain’s economy will grow 2.6 per cent next year, and thereafter will produce a 2.1pc growth, predict Reuters’ analysts. The quarterly forecast, which keeps Bahrain’s growth unchanged, also maintained that the region was hit-hard by the pandemic because of its effect on oil demand and prices. The report, which expects Bahrain to shrink by 4.8 pc this year, said the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council faces a steep economic contraction this year before partially rebounding in 2021. Most countries were facing sharper declines than previously estimated.

Reuters Analysts, in July, said Bahrain would contract 4.4pc. New lockdown measures, as infections continue to soar in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, could exacerbate already depressed economic activity, the report added.

Saudi to rebound in 2021

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, was expected to face a GDP contraction of 5.1pc this year and rebound to 3.1pc growth next year and 2.7pc growth in 2022. A poll conducted three months ago saw the world’s largest oil exporter contracting 5.2pc in 2020. “The region is now facing tough policy choices. Fiscal support is still needed to fight persistent and rising infections, already showing up in Europe and the US,” noted analysts at NBK. “But from a medium-term perspective, governments should aim to achieve fiscal and external sector sustainability in the likely scenario of low oil prices.”

UAE to expand 3.8pc in 2022

The United Arab Emirates, which has seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the past month or so, is expected to see GDP decline 6pc this year, grow 2.7pc next year and expand 3.8pc in 2022. In July, analysts expected a 5.1pc decline in 2020 and 2.6pc growth in 2021. “The UAE economy will suffer a deeper contraction this year than we anticipated in May,” the Institute of International Finance said in a research note. “Dubai’s economy may contract by at least 8pc, more than Abu Dhabi, as its large exposure to tourism, aviation, and other services makes it more vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic,” the IIF said, adding that output declined 9pc in the first half of the year and employment dropped by 10pc.

Median forecasts for Kuwait expected a 6.3pc contraction this year, 2.6pc growth next year and 3.3pc growth in 2022. Three months ago it was seen shrinking 6.1pc in 2020 and expanding 2.5pc in 2021.

Qatar to contract 4.0pc

Qatar’s forecast for this year was unchanged at a 4pc contraction, while expectations for growth next year improved to 3pc from 2.8pc and it was seen expanding 3.4pc in 2022. Oman, the report said, would shrink 4.9pc this year respectively from the contraction of 4.7pc in July. Oman is expected to grow 2.5pc next year, versus a July estimate of 3pc, and 2.7pc in 2022. “Things are looking less favourable, particularly for leisure and tourism,” Maya Senussi, senior economist at Oxford Economics, said on Oman. “Non-residents are still barred from visiting as we head into the peak season,” she said, adding analysts generally have a clearer view of how the dual shock has influenced activity.