Bahrain’s actual deficit recorded during the first half of this year amounted to $1.07 billion compared to a $1.7 billion half-year deficit recorded during 2018.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Finance and National Economy announced a major reduction in the budget deficit as of mid-year 2019, putting the Kingdom well ahead of its projected deficit reduction schedule, reported the Bahrain News Agency (BNA).
Bahrain, which does not have a huge oil wealth like other Gulf states, announced last year a plan to repair its heavily indebted public finances after it received a support pledge of $10 billion from Gulf states.
The government received $2.3 billion in 2018 and expects to receive another $2.28 billion in 2019 under an agreement with its Gulf allies. Bahrain expected the budget deficit to fall from 6.2 percent of GDP in 2018 to 3.4 percent in 2019 and then to 2.1 percent in 2020.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates agreed last year to provide $10 billion to Bahrain to support its needs while it is implementing a financial program aimed at eliminating its budget deficit by 2022.
The Minister of Finance and National Economy, Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa stated that the results demonstrate Bahrain’s commitment to balancing fiscal responsibility with economic growth and are a direct consequence of initiatives launched under the Fiscal Balance Program.
This is ensuring the Kingdom “continues to see diversified and sustainable economic development,” he was quoted as saying by BNA.