Bahrain‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices saw a growth of 3.2 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest data released by the Central Informatics Organisation (CIO). In a statement, CIO President Dr. Mohammed Al Amer said this was affirmation of good economic performance at the level of various sectors in spite of global conditions. Despite the unsettling political events in 2011, thanks to the efforts of the government, the country was able to overcome pressures, he said. Economic reforms have continued along with improvement in infrastructure investment and social services for residents.
Dr. Al Amer added that the income from oil in 2011 has exceeded expectations, boosting the overall budget revenues and doing away with the need to implement tight monetary policies. The strong supervision of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) of the financial sector, and the development of a balanced monetary policy to control the risk in lending policies has maintained its confidence in the domestic financial system and helped promote monetary stability.
Dr. Al Amer said that amid these conditions, GDP at constant prices saw an annual growth rate of 2.2pc for 2011. The oil sectors grew 3.4pc and the non-oil sector 2.1pc respectively. This is satisfactory in light of current economic challenges and the economic outlook in the near term looks positive improving local and global indicators are also expected to result in economic stability encourage local and foreign investors to reconsider shelved investment decisions. However, restoration of economic growth rates, which were prevalent before the crisis, will take some time. The annual economic growth at current prices rose by 17.8pc in 2011 compared to the previous year. The growth of oil-related economic activities was 7.6pc as a result of increased production of crude oil and that of non-oil activities was 26pc. The data indicate the continued slowdown in real estate, construction, offshore banking units, hotels and tourism related activities which have all been affected by weak domestic and global demand. The rate of economic growth at current prices during the fourth quarter was 14.5pc due to high oil prices on world markets.