Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/02/2012 -- The Bahrain Retail Report examines the long-term potential of the local consumer market, but flags shortterm concerns about the impact on Bahrain's economic outlook of the ongoing political crisis.
The report examines how best to maximise returns in the Bahrain retail market while minimising investment risk, and also explores the impact of a possible prolonged downturn in hydrocarbon prices on the Bahraini consumer and on the ability of producers and exporters to realise returns in the short term.
The report also analyses the growth and risk management strategies being employed by the leading players in the Bahrain retail sector, as they seek to maximise the growth opportunities offered by the local market.
Bahrain per-capita consumer spending is forecast to increase by 32% through to 2016, compared with a regional growth average of only 7%. The country comes sixth (out of seven) in BMI's Middle East and Africa Retail Risk/Reward Ratings, although it outperforms significantly for Risk.
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Among all retail categories, mass grocery retail will be the outperformer through to 2016 in growth terms, with sales forecast to increase by nearly 47% between 2012 and 2016, from US$1.12bn to US$1.65bn, as demand for packaged and convenience foods continues to pick up on the back of busier lifestyles and more Westernised eating habits.
In the competitive arena, BMI sees upside potential in Bahrain's business-friendly regulatory environment, which has succeeded in attracting a number of multinational food companies.
Over the last quarter, BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- BMI projects the Bahrain economy to expand by 2.5% in real terms in 2012, down from our previous forecast of 3.4%, as the economic recovery only gradually gathers steam. Elevated government consumption and an ongoing improvement in the net export position will bolster headline growth at a time when fixed investment activity remains muted.
- BMI forecasts that household consumption will tick higher in 2012, expanding by an estimated 8.0% year-on-year (y-o-y), particularly on the heels of recent hikes to public-sector salaries. Latest data from the central bank has been encouraging in this regard, showing the total stock of credit outstanding expanding by more than 10.0% y-o-y in the latter months of 2011, compared with the low single digits posted earlier in the year.
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