Iran unemployment mounts in summer

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 30/ Trend F.Milad/

Iran unemployment rate stood at 12.4 per cent this summer (which ended September 21), according to the Statistical Centre of Iran on Tuesday, the Mehr News Agency reported.

Based on the report, over 3,023,000 people were unemployed across the country during the summer.

The International Monetary Fund predicted earlier that unemployment would reach 14.1 per cent this year and 15.6 per cent next year, up from 12.3 per cent in 2011.

Iran will manage to bring its high inflation lower and return to growth next year despite Western sanctions over its nuclear programme, according to projections from the IMF.

The IMF forecasts which also include a small trade surplus this year and next, suggest that although sanctions are damaging Iran by cutting its oil exports, they are not likely to cause a collapse of its economy.

However, much of the IMF analysis is based on statistics provided by the Iranian government which private economists say may not be reliable and most of the report was prepared before Iran's currency the rial, plunged by about a third against the dollar in 10 days through Oct. 2.

In its semi-annual World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecast Iran's gross domestic product would shrink 0.9 per cent this year after two per cent growth in 2011.

Its prediction for this year was a downgrade from a forecast of 0.4 per cent growth in its last report in April, but the IMF projected GDP would expand next year by 0.8 per cent.

The IMF expects inflation to moderate to 21.8 per cent in 2013 from 25.2 per cent in 2012. Many private economists however, think inflation is well over 30 per cent.

Iran's current account, its balance of trade in goods and services, is expected to enjoy a surplus of 3.4 percent of GDP this year and 1.3 percent next year, the IMF said.

That would be a big drop from a surplus of 12.5 percent in 2011, but the forecast still suggests it may not face a crippling balance of payments crisis due to the sanctions.

Central Bank of Iran (CBI), with a considerable delay, announced the official inflation rate of Iranian month of Shahrivar (August 22-spetember 21) at 24 percent.

It is while CBI usually announces the official rate of inflation in just one week after the end of each month, the FArs News agency reported.

The real rate of inflation in Iran is over 50 percent, an Iranian university lecturer and economist, Mehdi Taghavi, said earlier this month

"The figures obtained on the ground show that the inflation rate is over 50 percent and ?some unofficial sources even claim it was 196 percent," ILNA reported quoted Mehdi Taghavi as saying.

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