Monday 6 April 2020

Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa

Bahrain budget deficit down 24pc in 2019

MANAMA, February 10, 2020

Bahrain's budget deficit reduced by 24%, falling from 6.3% of GDP in 2018 to 4.7% of GDP in 2019, according to the Ministry of Finance and National Economy's preliminary fiscal results for 2019.
Non-oil revenues increased 63% year-on-year, while government spending decreased 3% year-on-year. The kingdom’s primary budget deficit (excluding interest payments) fell 85% year-on-year, said the Bahrain News Agency quoting from the report.
The fiscal improvements follow the implementation of a number of reform measures taken by the government as part of the Fiscal Balance Program, initiated in October 2018. The programme aims to deliver a balanced budget by 2022.  Reforms implemented include a government-wide spending review and dedicated spending efficiency taskforces, new spending controls, a voluntary retirement scheme for public sector workers and the implementation of VAT.
The ministry also announced positive GDP growth figures.  According to the estimates, economic growth reached 2.1% in 2019, largely driven by a 2.3% increase in non-oil growth. The kingdom forecasts strong growth to continue into this year, with GDP expected to expand 2.7% in 2020.
Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said: “From the outset we have sought to implement an ambitious but balanced fiscal reform package in the Kingdom of Bahrain, with consolidation not being achieved at the expense of economic growth.  Today’s figures are testament to this approach. The government is 100% committed to its path of fiscal reform and sustainability, and to delivering a balanced budget by 2022.” 


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