Bahrain's GDP growth rate down by 1.1% in Q1 2020

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Saudi Gazette report

MANAMA — The Gross Domestic Product in Bahrain contracted 1.1 percent in Q1 on an annual basis, Bahrain News Agency reported on Monday citing a quarterly economic report from the country’s Ministry of Finance and National Economy.

The report covers Bahrain’s economic data across various sectors, as well as an assessment of global and regional economic developments.

“The global impact of COVID-19 affected Bahrain’s overall economic performance in Q1, causing a decline in real GDP growth (at constant prices) at a rate of 1.1 percent YoY, while the rate of decline reached 4.9 percent at current prices.

The finance ministry report showed that the economic performance witnessed growth at the beginning of the year before being hit in March by the coronavirus pandemic, affecting the overall performance of the economy in the first quarter, according to the BNA report.

The oil sector recorded growth at an annual rate of 1.8 percent at constant prices, driven by an increase in oil and gas production by 0.5 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, although growth declined in current prices by 11.5 percent. On the other hand, the non-oil sector GDP registered a decrease of 1.7 percent at constant prices and 4 percent at current prices.

Indicators within the report reflected continued growth in a number of non-oil sectors despite the challenges; the manufacturing sector achieved real growth of 4.8 percent, supported by the increase in the production volumes by Aluminum Bahrain Company by 42.5 percent, the social and personal services sector grew by 1.3 percent, while the construction sector witnessed a growth of 0.3 percent.

Due to global restrictions on travel and other preventative measures to counter the spread of COVID-19, the hotels and restaurants sector real GDP declined by 36 percent, while the transportation and communications sector declined by 6.3 percent, the decline is evidenced in the decrease in the number of visitors through the King Fahd Causeway and through the Bahrain International Airport by 24.2 percent and 25.1 percent, respectively. Other sectors also witnessed declines in their real GDP including government services by 2.9 percent, financial corporations by 1.6 percent, real estate and business activities by 0.4 percent, and trade by 0.1 percent.

As for the contribution of the non-oil sectors to GDP, the financial corporation sector continues the contributed the most at 16.7 percent, followed by the manufacturing sector at 14.9 percent, and the government services sector at 12.5 percent, while the oil sector's contribution amounted to 17.2 percent.

Furthermore, despite the global economic downturn, development projects in Bahrain continued to progress. The Bahrain International Airport expansion project, supervised by the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications in cooperation with the Bahrain Airport Company, remains on schedule to be completed this year, making it one of the largest infrastructure development projects in the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain at a total cost of $1.1 billion.


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