Despite continuing global economic uncertainty, 2012 has been a year of steady consolidation for the Bahraini economy with progress across the non-oil sector of the economy, according to the latest Economic Quarterly Report from the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).

The annual pace of economic growth in the first three quarters of 2012 was 4.4%, led by a strong rebound in the non-oil sector of the economy, with overall growth for the year estimated at 3.9% and all main sectors of the economy recording positive growth.

The rebound in economic activity has been supported by a significant increase in lending by Bahraini retail banks. The country’s retail banks are in generally robust health and have been working to remobilise their liquidity after a period of elevated risk aversion.

The strengthening of the short and long-term picture for the Bahraini economy has been reflected in the fact that Standard & Poor’s has recently revised its outlook on the Kingdom from negative to stable.

Growth is also likely to pick up further in 2013 due to planned large-scale industrial investments and growth in infrastructure spending. The Bahraini economy is fairly resilient to external shocks and it is currently estimated that real GDP growth could exceed six per cent this year.

Commenting on the report, Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “The latest Economic Quarterly report demonstrates that Bahrain’s economy continues to strengthen and after achieving solid growth in 2012, the economy is well-positioned to continue to achieve steady and sustainable expansion in 2013 and beyond.

“In particular, the Kingdom plays an important role as a gateway to the rapidly expanding GCC economies, and the opportunity this offers for investors is demonstrated by the strong performance of key non-oil and gas sectors.”

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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