Bahrain maintains growth albeit at slower pace
The Bahraini economy posted its second successive quarter of growth following a contraction in the opening quarter of 2018. Bahrain’s headline real growth rate slowed in the third quarter of 2018 as oil output shrank in line with Opec quotas. However, 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. The oil sector shrank 1.5% in the third quarter, while the non-oil sector grew 2.4%. Within the non-oil category, manufacturing rose by 3.0%, real estate by 2.9%, government services by 7.3% although the nancial sector rose by 1.4% and transport posed zero growth. It is set for faster growth over the coming three years, albeit still well below the 3% rates seen recently. The International Monetary Fund used its October 2018 biannual forecasts to raise the outlook for the kingdom. It now expects growth of 3.2% in 2018 rather than the 3.0% it saw in April 2018. The economy will then slow to 2.6%, 2.5% and 2.5% in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively, up from 2.3%, 2.2% and 2.3% six month earlier. The World Bank said its forecast for growth was driven by higher oil production, a raft of mega projects including the scheduled capacity enlargement at Aluminum Bahrain may raise aluminium production capacity by over 50% and continued regional support.