Real GDP grows 3.9% in Bahrain, oil sector shrink
Bahrain's real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have expanded 3.9 per cent last year from the 1.9pc growth seen in 2011.
Even as the oil sector shrank by around 8.5pc in 2012 due to a temporary technical disruption at the country's main Abu Sa'afa oilfield - expected to return to full capacity this year - strong growth in the non-oil sector drove economic momentum, according to a research report by Global Investment House.
Bahrain's economy is expected to grow by 4.2pc this year, it added.
In the first three quarters of last year, Bahrain's economy grew at an annual pace of 3.7pc, while headline growth rate slowed steadily from 4.8pc year-on-year in the first quarter to 2.9pc in the second, and 3.3pc in the third.
Moderate expansion in oil production and a recovery in the services sector will maintain the economic growth at around 3.7pc during 2013-15, the report said, and added that last year saw a rapid growth in non-oil sector.
Non-oil GDP rose to an expected 6.7pc in 2012 compared to 1.4pc in 2011.
The national accounts data for 2012 point to a relatively consistent increase in production virtually across the non-oil economy of Bahrain.
According to the report, the fastest growing sectors have been hotels and restaurants, followed by social and personal services and manufacturing.
In 2011, Bahrain recorded a trade surplus of $7.5bn, the highest in last seven years, it said. The impetus for a high trade surplus was an increase in oil production, coupled with high oil prices.
In December 2011, Bahrain achieved the highest ever crude oil production of 45,900 barrels per day. As a result, oil exports which constitute 78.8pc of the total exports witnessed a growth of 52.2pc in 2011 over 2010.
Bahrain reported a fiscal deficit for the third consecutive year in 2011. However, fiscal deficit has reduced by more than half to reach 3.2pc of GDP in 2011 against 9.4pc of GDP a year earlier.
The fiscal deficit narrowed due to a surge in revenues, primarily oil revenues, which constituted 87.9pc of the total revenues in 2011.
Inflation in Bahrain dropped in the second half of 2012 after it surged in the first half of the year. The increase in the first half was primarily due to base effect of low or negative prices witnessed in 2011.
Average inflation in Bahrain accelerated to 2.8pc in 2012 compared to a 0.4pc fall in 2011. Inflation is expected to remain at 2pc to 2.6pc in 2013-14, supported by easing prices of commodities, particularly food items.
Thereafter, inflation is expected to remain stable despite prices for global industrial raw materials rise, as maintenance of subsidies will keep the increases in check.