Bahrain's Macroeconomic Statistics

According to the Index of Economic Freedom, a joint publishing from the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Bahrain's economy is the most open in the Middle East/North Africa region. Depending on which sources you consult, the economy of Bahrain is either 39th or 44th worldwide.

Here is a chart, trending Bahrain's GDP. All figures are in Bahrain's dinars.

Year    GDP     US $ Exchange
1980    1,158   .37 dinars 79
1985    1,375   .37 dinars 97
1990    1,703   .37 dinars 94
1995    2,199   .37 dinars 100
2000    2,996   .37 dinars 100
2005    4,859   .37 dinars 104

To ensure parity, the United States dollar is only exchanged at .30 dinars. In 2009, the average wage was $19.81 per man-hour worked.

Bahrain's financial system is going through a period of strong performance, and will likely continue to contribute to the kingdom's overall growth. The biggest risk to the Bahraini economy comes from potential shocks to other regional economies, but Bahrain's system is strong enough to weather most storms.

Economic regulations in Bahrain are comprehensive, while being modern at the same time. In the banking sector, which dominates the Bahraini economy, supervision is regarded as very effective. However, supervisory capacity has to be increased, to keep step with new regulations and the more sophisticated nature of the kingdom's financial institutions.

Increased development in housing finance, the expansion of the Islamic sector, and the expanding securities market are essential for the continued flourishing of Bahrain's financial system. It's widely believed that the insurance and banking sectors will eventually consolidate.

Bahrain signed the US/Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, becoming the first Gulf state to sign any such agreement. There is a large privatization program underway; certain government assets such as banks, utilities, and telecommunications are increasingly coming under private control.

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