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Country Forecast Bahrain Updater

  • ID: 2101432
  • April 2016
  • Region: Bahrain
  • 17 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
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Bahrain will face persistent social unrest throughout the forecast period, and bomb attacks on security personnel are likely. The position of the ruling Al Khalifa family will remain secure in the short term. However, sectarian tensions between the Shia majority and the ruling Sunnis will persist, heightened by a mistrust of Iran, which is considered a threat to the regime. The need to bring in unpopular austerity measures in 2016 will further enflame tensions between the poorer Shia population and the government, and will lead to a deterioration in social stability in the short term.

Policymaking will remain concentrated in the hands of the government, which is dominated by the ruling family. Political effectiveness will be constrained by opposition from the elected parliament and by the low price of oil (which generates around 80% of government revenue). Despite opposition, there will be progress in reforming the extensive subsidy system given the fall in oil prices. Meat and fuel subsides have been reduced, and other subsidy cuts are likely to follow.

Government efforts to boost the local skills base and narrow the cost gap between expatriates and locals will have some impact, but these efforts will be constrained by the tightness of the public finances and the private sector's reliance on expatriate labour. 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 2016-20: Political stability

Outlook for 2016-20: Election watch

Outlook for 2016-20: International relations

Outlook for 2016-20: Policy trends

Outlook for 2016-20: Fiscal policy

Outlook for 2016-20: Monetary policy

Outlook for 2016-20: Economic growth

Outlook for 2016-20: Inflation

Outlook for 2016-20: Exchange rates

Outlook for 2016-20: 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

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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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