World Economy

Bahrain Economy Teetering

Bahrain Economy TeeteringBahrain Economy Teetering

Bahrain is on the global stage again, earning a top spot as a destination for expats out of many countries. But the country is facing the biggest fight for economic survival in its history.  Bahrain topped the global list for the second year running, according to Bloomberg quoting the annual Expat Insider survey by Munich-based InterNations, a network of 3.2 million expatriates. But Bahrain has  become strained under the weight of public subsidies, and now faces growing debt problems on the back of low oil prices from 2014 to 2017, with public debt reaching 89% of its roughly $33 billion GDP in 2017, while fiscal deficit reached 13% of GDP. The International Monetary Fund forecast that public debt could reach 100% of GDP in 2019. The country is also facing low foreign currency reserves, highlighted when the country declared in June 2018 it had enough to cover only 1.5 months of imports. Bahrain, like the rest of its (P)GCC neighbors (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait), is trying to diversify away from hydrocarbons. Bahrain relies heavily on oil and natural gas.

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