Bahrain growth seen at 3.2pc this year: IMF

July 2018

Bahrain's overall growth in 2018 is projected at 3.2 per cent on a recovery in oil production, rising refinery and aluminium production capacity and continuation of GCC-funded projects, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission said.

The IMF mission led by Bikas Joshi visited Bahrain from April 30 to May 15 to conduct discussions for the 2018 Article IV consultation. The mission will submit a report to IMF management and Executive Board, which is tentatively scheduled to discuss the Article IV Consultation in July 2018.

At the conclusion of the visit, Joshi said in a statement: “Output remained resilient in 2017, growing at around 3.8 percent. This was underpinned by the non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. Inflation remains subdued.

“On the back of higher oil prices—increasing hydrocarbon revenues by 15 percent—and authorities’ fiscal consolidation measures, the overall fiscal deficit is estimated to have declined to 14 per cent of GDP, from around 18 per cent in 2016. Public debt increased to 89 per cent of GDP, while the current account deficit remained unchanged at 4.5 per cent. Reserves remain low, covering only 1.5 months of prospective non-oil imports at end 2017.

 “Overall growth is projected at 3.2 per cent in 2018, with a recovery in oil production, continuation of GCC-funded projects, and rising refinery and aluminium production capacity,” he said.

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