I’ve got some Good News™ for you guys:
As an exercise in deflating pessimism it couldn’t have been better. The merchants of doom and gloom have been predicating their comments on declining oil reserves for years, with the implicit rider that the entire economy of the kingdom was destined to plummet down a slippery slope.
Now a report from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has left the pessimists spluttering and bereft of ammunition for the slightest tale of woe. Oil revenues are up. Inflation is minimal (something Dubai and Qatar would love to be able to claim). Exports are up. The trade surplus is up. The heart and homeland of banking in the Gulf and beyond is riding the crest of a wave and – perhaps best of all – the vast majority of the new jobs that have been created in the past 12 months are in the private sector.
The report, a first of its kind issued on August 16, showed that the kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 7.1% in 2006, driven by strong local and foreign investment, a record high current accounts surplus and an expanding private sector.
Oxford Business Group – Bahrain Volume 117 – 24 Aug, ’07
That, my friends, is Good News™ and it will be a lot gooder when that percolates down to the rank and file.