By Gavin Gibbon
Transportation and communication sector, supported by Gulf Air's route expansion, led growth at 6.4% year on year
Bahrain’s economy grew by 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2019, up by 0.57 percent compared to the same period last year.
According to the Q3 2019 Bahrain Economic Quarterly report from the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, the private sector grew by 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2019 from a (revised) 0.3 percent in Q2, while the oil sector contracted by 0.1 percent as production held steady.
The transportation and communication sector, supported by Gulf Air’s route expansion, led growth at 6.4 percent year on year (YoY). The hotels and restaurants sector also grew strongly at 6.3 percent YoY, as did the manufacturing sector at 4.1 percent YoY, bolstered by the launch of Alba’s Line 6.
The report also revealed that the total number of visitors arriving through Bahrain’s International Airport saw a 2.9 percent increase to just over 800,000, while the occupancy rate at 5 and 4 star hotels reached 51 percent and 48 percent, respectively. The average number of stay nights rose to 63 percent.
In terms of infrastructure investments, in Q3 Bahrain welcomed the launch of a national broadband network ‘BNET’, the signing of a $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 $1.6bn.
The report also highlights the progress made by Bahrain towards accelerating investment-driven development, as outlined in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, which placed the kingdom among the top 10 improvers globally and second among the Arab states – advancing 19 places to 43rd out of 190 economies.
Additionally, Bahrain was ranked 45th out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) in the Human Development Report 2019. The country also improved five spots and ranked 45th out of 141 countries in The Global Competitiveness Report 2019.