Bahrain’s economy grew by 1.6% in the third quarter of 2019, led by non-oil sector growth. The sector grew by 2% year-on-year (YoY), said the Ministry of Finance and National Economy in its Q3 2019 Bahrain Economic Quarterly report.
Growth in Q3 was driven by a rebound in manufacturing sector. “The launch of Alba’s Line 6 pushed up the YoY growth rate in manufacturing to 4.1%, while the hotels & restaurants sector continued to perform strongly with 6.3% YoY growth,” said the official state media BNA.
Transport and communication sector, supported by Gulf Air expansion, also registered a 6.4% annual growth.
“Pro-growth initiatives as part of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 continue to help further diversify the Kingdom’s economic base and support non-oil growth, which rebounded to 2.0% in Q3 from the (revised) 0.5% growth rate seen in Q2,” added the report.
The private sector grew by 1.6% in Q3 from a (revised) 0.3% in Q2, while the oil sector contracted by 0.1% as production held steady.
Total number of visitors arriving through Bahrain’s International Airport jumped by 2.9 per cent to just over 800,000. The occupancy rate at five- and four-star hotels reached 51% and 48%, respectively. The average number of stay nights also rose to 63%.
Infrastructure investments also bolstered the country’s growth. Bahrain launched a national broadband network ‘BNET’, the signing of a USD 2.9 billion contract with Saudi Arabia for the transitional phase of the King Hamad Causeway, as well as the approval of electricity and water network expansion projects valued at BHD 615 million.
Bahrain was ranked among the top 10 improvers globally and second among the Arab states in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. It was also ranked 45th out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) in the Human Development Report 2019. Also, Bahrain improved 5 spots and ranked 45th out of 141 countries in The Global Competitiveness Report 2019.