Bahrain: Parliament Passes 2019-20 Budget Into Law

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Bahrain has announced that the state budget 2019-20 has been passed into law, demonstrating that the kingdom is committed to realising the aims of the fiscal balance programme and paving the way for strong growth.
Updated forecasts included within the budget demonstrate the government’s deficit reduction programme is well ahead of schedule, with a primary budget surplus forecast for 2020, reported BNA.
A projected 2018 budget deficit of 9.8% of GDP has fallen to 6.2% of GDP; a fall of over a third, putting the kingdom on track to deliver a balanced budget in line with the Fiscal Balance Program announced in October of last year, it stated.
The State Budget Law, which was passed by Bahrain’s elected chamber of parliament, will ensure the kingdom continues to pursue responsible fiscal policy while safeguarding economic growth, job creation, and the delivery of essential services for citizens, while projecting further reductions in the budget deficit to 4.7% in 2019 and 3.9% in 2020.
Preliminary figures indicate that the Bahraini economy has made a strong start to the year, with robust growth in a number of sectors during Q1 2019, it added.
With growth gradually strengthening across the region, Bahrain has benefitted from increased positive spillovers in areas such as tourism and trade. Other positive indicators include growth in imports and exports, business loans, and building permit approvals, stated the BNA report.
Favorable regional liquidity markets are boosting the availability of capital, positively affecting Bahrain’s All Share Index, which rose by 5.7% during Q1 2019.