The Arab Spring is a series of revolutionary demonstrations that started in December 2010. These demonstrations have been in multiple Arab counties. These countries include Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Oman, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Western Sahara. In this blog I am going to focus on Bahrain and how the Arab Spring has impacted its economy.
Bahrain’s economy depends heavily on oil. Petroleum production and refining account for more than 60% of Bahrain’s export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries). Other major economic activities are production of aluminum – Bahrain’s second biggest export after oil – finance, and construction. [www.cia.gov]
Due to the Arab spring the economy of Bahrain has been affected as GDP has decreased, debt has increased, current account balance has decreased, government spending has increased, consumption has increased, and investments have decreased. [www.cia.gov]
According to the equation, GDP= C+I+G+ (X-M), GDP depends on consumption, Investments, government spending and net exports. If there is a change in these factors then GDP is also affected. Bahrain has a decrease in GDP per capita from $27500 in 2010 to $27300 in 2011. It also has a decrease in GDP growth rate from 4.1% in 2010 to 1.5% in 2011 [www.cia.gov]. This means that the Arab Spring has caused changes in the other four variables that determine nations GDP. [www.cia.gov]
Due to these demonstrations people are not able to invest as much as it were in a peaceful country.
The current account balance of Bahrain has decreased from $770 million in 2010 to $617.4 million. Government revenues, $7.93 billion, are less than government expenditures, $8.297 billion, in 2011, and there is a -1.4% of GDP budget deficit in 2011. Public debt has increased from 60.1% in 2010 to 75.3% in 2011. External debt has also increased from $14.58 billion in 2010 to $15.2 billion in 2011. Imports have increased from $11.19 billion in 2010 to $16.8 billion in 2011. These show that government spending has increased. Exports have increased from $13.83 billion in 2010 to $20.23 billion in 2011 but the money that Bahrain is earning is not enough since it still has a deficit in its budget. [www.cia.gov]
In conclusion, the standard of living in Bahrain has decreased due to the Arab spring. The comparison of Bahrain’s 2010 and 2011 statistics show this decrease in standard of living and the negative impact on Bahrain’s economy.
CIA world factbook:
US department of state: