Real growth in the non-oil sector of Bahrain’s economy reached an annual rate of 4.7 percent in the third quarter of 2016, according to new official figures.
This marked a clear acceleration from the 3.6 percent pace seen during Q2, said the country’s Economic Development Board in its latest research note.
Overall, during the first three quarters of 2016 the Bahraini economy expanded by a real 3.6 percent over the corresponding period in 2015, up from 2.9 percent during 2015 as a whole, it said.
It added that the third quarter of 2016 saw Bahrain’s non-oil economy gather momentum in spite of fluctuating oil prices and international volatility that has placed downward pressure on regional and global growth.
There was strong expansion across a range of sectors, with particularly robust performances in social and personal services, construction and financial services.
A key factor underpinning the momentum in the non-oil economy remains an unprecedented pipeline of large-scale infrastructure projects, the implementation of which has accelerated over the last year, the report said.
Dr Jarmo Kotilaine, the EDB chief economic advisor, said: “Encouragingly, we continue to see strong resilience in the non-oil sector in Bahrain as the economy continues to outpace the global and regional averages.
“The build-up of infrastructure projects is not only helping to stimulate short-term growth, but will also help underpin the long-term diversification and growth in productivity that we will need to support our prosperity in the future.
“However, while we know that hard infrastructure is vital, it is not enough on its own. We also need to address the soft infrastructure – the laws and regulations that are going to encourage investment, that are going to make it easier for companies to do business and make it easier to grow. We have already made considerable progress in recent months and there are a number of other reforms we expect to see in the near future.”