Construction work offsets oil slowdown
Plans for further construction work will help o set the impact of lower prices on economic growth. The ongoing implementation of the infrastructure programme will serve as a strong countervail- ing force. Bahrain is building mega projects worth $32bn — the equivalent of one year’s economic output — to boost the kingdom’s economic development e orts. The Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications in February 2019 launched a tender seeking a transaction advisor to kick- start work on phase one of the Bahrain Metro. Phase 1 will contain 30km of elevated track and 20 stations, one of which may connect to Bahrain International Airport, with 13kn of track going to the airport and 11km of tramline to Bahrain Mall. The $3bn Alba Line 6 project is set to create the world’s largest single-site aluminium smelter. Another $1bn is being invested in the airport mod- ernisation programme and a further $335m earmarked for a new Banagas gas plant. The Interna- tional Monetary Fund said that oil output was expected to have declined by 1.2% in the nal quar- ter of 2018, while non-oil output growth likely decelerated to 2.5%, driven by slowdowns in retail, hospitality, and nancial services sectors. GDP growth slowed in the.third quarter of 2018 as oil output shrank in line with Opec quotas. The annual rate of GDP growth for the three months to September 2018 fell to 1.6% from 2.5% in the previous quarter. Growth continues to be volatile: it shrank 1.2% year-on-year in the rst quarter of 2018, after downwardly revised 2.3% growth in the previous quarter.