|Year||Gross Domestic Product||US Dollar Exchange||Inflation Index (2000=100)|
|1980||1,158||0.37 Bahraini Dinars||79|
|1985||1,375||0.37 Bahraini Dinars||97|
|1990||1,703||0.37 Bahraini Dinars||94|
|1995||2,199||0.37 Bahraini Dinars||100|
|2000||2,996||0.37 Bahraini Dinars||100|
|2005||4,859||0.37 Bahraini Dinars||104|
For purchasing power parity comparisons, the US Dollar is exchanged at 0.30 Bahraini Dinars only. Average wages in 2007 hover around $110-133 per day.
Bahrain's current account balance is characterized by surpluses in merchandise trade and international services, and a large deficit in unilateral transfers, which is accounted for by the country's large expatriate workforce sending home a portion of its earnings. In 2003 and 2004, the balance of payments performance improved due to rising oil prices and increased receipts from the services sector. As a result, the current account balance registered a surplus of US$219 million in 2003 and a surplus of US$442 million in 2004, compared with a deficit of US$35 million in 2002. Bahrain's gross international reserves increased substantially in 2004 to US$1.6 billion, compared with US$1.4 billion in the previous three years (2001-2003).
In 2005, Bahrain signed the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, becoming the first Gulf state to sign such a bilateral trade agreement with the United States. A massive privatisation programme is underway to sell off key government assets: utilities, banks, financial services, and telecommunications have started to come under the control of the private sector.
As a result the economy has been well positioned to exploit the extra revenues generated in the region thanks to the sustained high oil prices since 2002. In January 2006, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia cited Bahrain as the fastest growing economy in the Arab world.
Between 1981 and 1993, Bahrain Government expenditures increased by 64%. During that same time, government revenues continued to be largely dependent on the oil industry and increased by only 4%. Bahrain has at times received significant budgetary support and project grants from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
The government has used its modest oil revenues to build an advanced infrastructure in transportation and telecommunications. Bahrain is a regional financial and business center. Tourism, especially from the region, has proved another significant source of income.
Bahrain has benefited from the oil boom since 2001, with economic growth of 5.5%. It has succeeded in attracting investment from other Gulf states partly because it used the revenues of the 1970s-early 80s boom to invest in infrastructure development and other projects to improve the standard of living; health, education, housing, electricity, water, and roads all received attention.
The success of ventures such as the Bahrain Grand Prix has raised the Kingdom's international profile, and combined with the boom in Islamic banking, has encouraged major airlines to resume services to the country, with Lufthansa announcing on 14 March 2006 that it would schedule three flights a week to Manama from Frankfurt
As part of its efforts to build a modern economy, Bahrain has initiated a series of labour reforms under Minister of Labour Majeed Al Alawi in order to bring the labour market in to line with international standards.
The Bahrain National Gas Company operates a gas liquefaction plant that utilizes gas piped directly from Bahrain's oilfields. Gas reserves should last about 50 years at present rates of consumption.
The Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company is a joint venture of the petrochemical industries of Kuwait, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, and the Government of Bahrain. The plant, completed in 1985, produces ammonia and methanol for export.
Bahrain's other industries include Aluminum Bahrain, which operates an aluminum smelter--the largest in the world with an annual production of about 525,000 metric tons --and related factories, such as the Aluminum Extrusion Company and the Gulf Aluminum Rolling Mill Company (GARMCO). Other plants include the Arab Iron and Steel Company's iron ore pelletizing plant (4 million tons annually) and a shipbuilding and repair yard.
Bahrain's development as a major financial center has been the most widely heralded aspect of its diversification effort. International financial institutions operate in Bahrain, both offshore and onshore, without impediments. In 2001, Bahrain's central bank issued 15 new licenses. More than 100 offshore banking units and representative offices are located in Bahrain, as well as 65 American firms. Bahrain's international airport is one of busiest in the Persian Gulf, serving 22 carriers. A modern, busy port offers direct and frequent cargo shipping connections to the U.S., Europe, and the Far East. Internationally recognised Bahraini companies include Investcorp, the venture capital firm credited with turning around the fortunes of Gucci.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $14.08 billion (2005 est.)
GDP: official exchange rate - $11.58 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.9% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $20,500 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
services: 53% (1996 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.5% (1998 est.)
295,000 (1998 est.)
note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: industry, commerce, and service 79%, government 20%, agriculture 1% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate: 15% (1998 est.)
revenues: $1.5 billion
expenditures: $1.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998)
Industrial production growth rate: 3.4% (1995)
Electricity - production: 4,770 GWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption: 1,090 GWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)
Exports: $3.3 billion (f.o.b., 1998)
Imports: $3.5 billion (f.o.b., 1998)
Imports - commodities: nonoil 59%, crude oil 41%
Debt - external: $2 billion (1997)
Economic aid - recipient: $48.4 million (1995)
Exchange rates: Bahraini dinars (BD) per US$1 - 0.3760 (fixed rate)
Fiscal year: calendar year
There is no personal income tax in Bahrain.
Employers and workers must pay social insurance contributions as follows:
(1) for old-age, disability and survivor protection: for Bahraini employees, employers pay 10% of salary plus constant allowances, workers pay 5% plus constant allowances; for non-Bahraini employees, employers pay 3% of salary plus constant allowances (then being entitled only to employment injury benefits).
(2) for unemployment insurance: since June 1, 2007, all wages are subject to a 2% tax, paid for equally by the employer and the employee, applicable both to nationals and non-citizens and supplemented by a government contribution of 1%. This makes Bahrain the first of the GCC countries to implement a UI scheme.