By Staff writer
Country's employment rate falls to 3.1% in June, the lowest rate in years, says Economic Development Board
Bahrain's non-oil sector is on target to grow by 4.6 percent this year, according to the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
Overall growth is expected to reach 3.6 percent with output in the oil sector forecast to be flat, the EDB said in a statement.
Its report also highlighted the positive performance of the Bahrain labour market, which showed an unemployment rate of 3.1 percent in June, the lowest point reached in several years.
The transport and communications sector led the way, reporting a year-on-year growth rate of 6.7 percent, while the construction sector and the social and personal services sector were also among the strongest performers, with year-on-year growth of 6.4 percent, and 6.2 percent respectively for the Q2 period.
EDB said the non-oil sector has been supported by strong credit growth with an increase in lending from an annual rate of 5.7 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July.
It added that the economy also saw positive progress in diversification of exports, with high regional demand for non-hydrocarbons products.
Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of the EDB, said: "The robust growth in many sectors of the non-oil economy shows that despite the challenging global environment, Bahrain is thriving.
"Concerted efforts to diversify Bahrain's economy have seen the share of GDP accounted for by oil and gas fall from more than 40 percent in 2000 to around a fifth today.
"This diversification means that our economy is able to continue to grow and create jobs, even when facing considerable headwinds. This growth continues to be underpinned by strong fundamentals - the region's highly supportive demography, ongoing economic diversification and the increasing integration of the Gulf into global trade and travel flows."