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Country Forecast Bahrain Updater

  • ID: 2101432
  • August 2015
  • Region: Bahrain
  • 17 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

Bahrain will face persistent social unrest for at least the first half of the forecast period, with reconciliation talks initiated by the reformist crown prince, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, unlikely to make much progress. Tensions have risen following parliamentary elections in November 2014 and the arrest of an opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman. Further unrest and violence, including bomb attacks on security personnel, are likely. The position of the ruling Al Khalifa family will remain secure in the short term and it will continue to receive support from Saudi Arabia. However, sectarian tensions between the Shia majority and the ruling Sunnis will persist, presenting a threat to the regime.

Policymaking will remain concentrated in the hands of the government, which is dominated by the ruling family. The legislature will have little credibility, given the boycott by opposition members of parliament. Opposition groups also boycotted the November parliamentary election. Political effective-ness will be constrained by rivalries within the ruling family. Should the crown prince re-emerge as a political force, he may reinvigorate the economic reform process. Efforts to unwind the extensive subsidy system will face significant opposition, but should make progress given the fall in oil prices.

Government efforts to boost the local skills base and narrow the cost gap between expatriates and locals will have some impact, but the private sector's reliance on expatriate labour will continue. Issues of demographics and naturalisation will remain politically sensitive, owing to fierce controversy over citizenship rules, which opposition groups allege are politicised.

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Country Forecast Bahrain Updater

Country forecast overview: Highlights

Country forecast overview: Key indicators

Country forecast overview: Business environment rankings

Country forecast overview: Bahrain's business environment at a glance
Policy towards private enterprise and competition
Policy towards foreign investment
Foreign trade and exchange controls
Taxes
Financing
The labour market
Infrastructure

Fact sheet

Outlook for 2015-19: Political stability

Outlook for 2015-19: Election watch

Outlook for 2015-19: International relations

Outlook for 2015-19: Policy trends

Outlook for 2015-19: Fiscal policy

Outlook for 2015-19: Monetary policy

Outlook for 2015-19: Economic growth

Outlook for 2015-19: Inflation

Outlook for 2015-19: Exchange rates

Outlook for 2015-19: External sector

Data summary: Global outlook

Data summary: Gross domestic product, current market prices

Data summary: Gross domestic product, at constant prices

Data summary: Gross domestic product by sector of origin

Data summary: Growth and productivity

Data summary: Economic structure, income and market size

Data summary: Fiscal indicators

Data summary: Monetary indicators

Data summary: Employment, wages and prices

Data summary: Current account and terms of trade

Data summary: Foreign direct investment

Data summary: External debt

Data sources and definitions
Global data
Domestic data
Abbreviations

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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