Bahrain’s government deficit reached 520 million dinars ($1.38 billion) in H1 of 2021, down 35% compared with the same period a year ago, the finance ministry said recently in its bi-annual financial report.
Revenues reached $2.97 bn in H1 2021, up 23% from the same period last year, as oil revenues jumped 33% due to a rise in crude prices, while non-oil revenues rose 4%.
Total actual expenditures reached $4.35 bn in H1, down 4% from the same period in 2020.
The results also showed a decrease in recurring expenses by 2% compared with the same period in 2020, according to the finance ministry.
“The Biannual Financial Report 2021 is a measure of progress that quantifies the remarkable work all public agencies do to meet citizens’ requirements,” said Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy.
“Strategic planning, along with the persistent dedication of Team Bahrain, has yielded tangible outcomes in the kingdom’s path to development, buoying the economy during the COVID-19 crisis,” he added.
The International Monetary Fund has previously said that it expects Bahrain’s economy to grow 3.3% this year. The island nation is set to have one of the region’s widest deficits at about 9% of GDP this year, while its debt ratio in relation to economic output is seen as the highest in the Gulf.
According to the IMF, Bahrain’s growth in 2020 was estimated at -5.4%, driven by a sharp contraction in non-oil growth of -7% as activity in high contact and job-rich services sectors contracted markedly.
The overall fiscal deficit increased to 18.2% of GDP in 2020 and public debt reached 133% of GDP. The current account deficit widened to 9.6% of GDP and international reserves declined to about 1.4 months of prospective non-oil imports.
Bahrain’s national labor plan
The Cabinet of Bahrain has officially approved the National Labor Market Plan 2021-2023.
The details of the plan are set to enhance the national workforce and promote more employment opportunities for citizens of Bahrain in accordance with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.
The main objectives of the plan include:
- Promoting educational and vocational training for local workers
- Putting the “Employment Skills Platform” into practice to better track labor market trends and needs
- Investing in the tech industry and financially supporting business hiring of local workers
- Creating more opportunities to increase the number of women in the labor market