Country Forecast Bahrain Updater

  • ID: 2101432
  • November 2015
  • Region: Bahrain
  • 16 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
1 of 3

Bahrain will face persistent social unrest, with reconciliation talks initiated by the reformist crown prince, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, unlikely to make much progress. The arrest and jailing of an opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, will provide a focal point for protest. 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. However, sectarian tensions between the Shia majority and the ruling Sunnis will persist, presenting a threat to the regime. This will also serve to further heighten tensions with Iran. The threat of Islamic State attacks (most likely on Shia mosques) will also persist.

Policymaking will remain concentrated in the hands of the government, which is dominated by the ruling family. Political effectiveness will be constrained by rivalries within the ruling family, and regular resistance from the elected parliament. Despite opposition, there will be some progress in reforming the extensive subsidy system (albeit only gradual) given the fall in oil prices. Meat subsides have already been reduced and subsidies on electricity and fuel will follow eventually.

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.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
2 of 3

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
The labour market

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

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
3 of 3
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • Quick Help: This country profile will be emailed to you The country profile is sent in PDF format. This is a single user license, allowing one specific user access to the product.

  • Quick Help: The report will be emailed to you. The report is sent in PDF format. This is a single user license, allowing one specific user access to the product.


If you have a more general question about our products please try our



Our Clients

  • Western Union Company
  • Wells Fargo & Company
  • Credit Suisse Group
  • Royal Bank of Scotland PLC.
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • Barclays Bank PLC.