Bahrain’s non-oil growth beat expectations in the first quarter of 2015 according to the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly (BEQ) issued by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).

The non-oil economy, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of GDP, grew by 5 per cent with a strong performance from a number of sectors.

The social and personal services sector grew by 8.3 per cent year-on-year, overtaking the hotels and restaurants sector as the fastest-growing sector. The social and personal services sector is primarily made up of private sector healthcare and education activities. The manufacturing sector also saw 5.9 per cent year-on-year growth.

Strong growth of 7.5 per cent year-on-year was reported in the construction sector and the transport and communications sector followed closely with a 7.3 per cent year-on-year expansion.

The report also highlighted overall real GDP growth of 2.9 per cent on an annual basis and strong labour market activity, with employment increasing by 5 per cent compared with the same period in 2014.

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