October 7, 2019 / 7:24 PM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-Bahrain real GDP up 0.8% in Q2 y/y despite oil sector contraction

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DUBAI, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Bahrain’s real gross domestic product grew 0.8% in Q2 year-on-year, according to preliminary government data, as growth in the non-oil sector offset a decline in oil output.

The small Gulf Arab oil producer saw a 0.8% drop in the oil sector in the second quarter, mainly because of a 5.8% decline in the production of oil from the offshore Abu Safah field, which it shares with Saudi Arabia.

Annual growth in the non-oil sector was 1.2%, the ministry of finance said in a statement late on Monday.

Bahrain’s total GDP in Q2 stood at 3.2 billion dinars ($8.49 billion), it said.

The Bahraini government received pledges of $10 billion last year from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates after low oil prices pushed its public debt to almost 93% of gross domestic product.

As part of the financial aid from its wealthier Gulf allies, Bahrain has embarked on a series of economic reforms aimed at balancing its budget by 2022.

Bahrain expects a fiscal deficit of 4.7% of GDP this year and 3.9% next year, the ministry said on Monday, confirming previous estimates.

It forecasts real GDP to grow 2.1% this year and 2.7% next year, it said.

$1 = 0.3770 Bahraini dinar Reporting by Tuqa Khalid and Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman

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