Bahrain central bank governor expects real GDP to grow 3.1 pct in 2021

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Bahrain’s central bank governor, Rasheed Mohammed al-Maraj, said in an interview published on Sunday he expects real gross domestic product to grow 3.1 percent in 2021.

The governor told local newspaper Albilad that foreign reserves increased to 1.63 billion dinars ($4.32 billion) in September, and they were expected to keep growing because of the expected increase in revenues due to higher oil prices.

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Bahrain last month revealed details of a new economic growth and fiscal balance plan that pushes a zero-deficit target back by two years to 2024 from 2022 and increases value-added tax to 10 percent from 5 percent.

A government statement said the updated fiscal balance program also included reducing expenditure and project spend, streamlining distribution of cash subsidies to citizens, and new government services revenue initiatives.

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