Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/20/2012 -- 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.
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Bahrain per capita consumer spending is forecast to increase by 32.0% through to 2016, compared with a regional growth average of only 2.3%. The country comes sixth out of seven in BMI's Middle East and Africa Retail Risk/Reward Ratings, although it outperforms significantly for Risk.
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 forecasts real GDP expanding 2.9% in 2012, following an estimated 1.9% in 2011. The economy's medium-term outlook remains dependent on the trajectory of the political crisis, with a failure to find a lasting solution likely to undermine growth through 2016.
- BMI continues to hold a relatively bullish outlook on household consumption. Although timely data out of the country are relatively sparse, previously announced hikes to public-sector salaries are likely to be feeding through to the wider economy. Indeed, local reports have indicated that growth in car sales was well into double digits through the first five months of 2012. With banking-sector credit growth hitting three-year highs in H112, we expect private consumption to remain well supported in the near term.
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