MANAMA: The growth momentum of the Bahraini economy has continued to exceed expectations, with the annual pace of growth in the non-oil sector reaching 4.8% in the first nine months of 2017.
During 2017 as a whole, non-oil growth is expected to exceed the 4.0% pace recorded in 2016, according to the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly published by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
The performance of the non-oil private sector also meant that overall economic growth in the Kingdom reached an annual pace of 3.6% for the first three quarters of the year – improving on the 3.2% pace of growth posted during 2016 as a whole and making Bahrain the fastest growing economy in the GCC.
Speaking on the publication of the report, Dr Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economic Advisor of the Bahrain EDB, commented:"Bahrain’s economy continues to deliver at the upper end of growth expectations thanks to a combination of robust structural and countercyclical drivers. We expect this positive dynamic to continue into 2018 as the regional environment becomes more supportive of growth and as the diversified economy continues to expand, supported by an unprecedented investment pipeline."
Encouragingly, non-oil growth in Bahrain is almost entirely driven by the private sector at a time of fiscal austerity. The positive momentum is broad-based, characterised by strong performances across a number of areas. Hotels and Restaurants, Social and Personal Services, Transportation and Communications, and Financial Services all expanded more than 6% year-on-year real growth during the first three quarters of 2017. All of this points to the continued strong progress of economic diversification in an economy where the non-oil sector collectively already generate more than 80% of GDP.
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