Iran’s World Trade Centre chief :No such positive sign of improvement in the Iranian economy

Azerbaijan, Baku, October 2/ Trend D.Khatinoglu/

According to the latest report of the Central Bank of Iran, national industrial growth for the two years ended autumn 2012 has plummeted from about 10 per cent to less than minus 13 per cent, equalling a 27 per cent negative growth.

Meanwhile, the Statistical Centre of Iran has reported that the Iranian economy contracted by 5.4 per cent in the past Iranian calendar year which ended on March 20. The research centre of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) has forecast the contraction will continue in the current year, so the economy will shrink by 1.3 per cent.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has pledged to materialise signs of improvement in the national economy within the first 100 days of his presidency. He has also promised to present a comprehensive report about the country's economic situation in the same 100-day period of time.

Iran's World Trade Centre chief Mohammadreza Sabzalipour told Trend that President Rouhani won the presidential election with a high vote of about 18 million and that it was undoubtedly a healthy election.

"Moreover, support of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Majlis and the Judiciary chiefs from the government bodes well for resolving the economic problems. However, the nation expects Mr Rouhani to meet his promises and take a step showing his will toward removing the problems in the 100-day period."

According to him, the president is benefiting from a 500-member team of elite people, experienced executive bodies and academics in order to identify different problems. The president's satisfaction over his cabinet and economic advisors leaves no excuse for him to implement his short and long term reform plans.

However, as far as is known, he has not provided people with the promised report, nor a positive event has occurred in the field of economy during the past 100 days, Sabzalipour said, adding that perhaps we have yet to be informed of the positive steps taken towards removing the economic problems.

Amid the lack of domestic reports about the three month economic growth rate, non-oil exports and different data about the unemployment rate, official reports by the custom administrations of China, India, Japan, and South Korea indicate that the countries imported 16 per cent less crude oil from Iran compared to the same period in the past year.

The Statistical Centre of Iran announced on September 30 that the inflation rate for the 12-month period to the sixth Iranian calendar month which ended on September 22, compared to the same period in the previous year where it hit 36 per cent.

The point-to-point inflation of the sixth month stood at 37 per cent, 1.4 per cent less than the previous year. The price of the US dollar is currently around 30,000 rials, while it was around 36,000 rials in the third calendar month. This means purchasing power has increased in Iran.

However the heavy sanctions imposed on Iran during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency are still in effect.

According to Sabzalipour, most of the people active at the Forex and gold coin market are the ordinary people. They have limited capital and have changed their money to Forex and gold coins to gain a little profit. They cannot afford any risks. So at a slight fall in prices, they rush to sell their gold coins and Forex. And naturally with an increase in supply and decrease in demand, the prices fall further.

After western sanctions hit Iran and especially the country's oil exports and the Central Bank, many people changed their rials to dollars, since the rial lost about 50 per cent of its value in the past two years.

Based on official reports, Iranians keep some 18 billion dollars in their homes.

Head of Iran World Trade Centre also said that except for the telephone conversation of the presidents of Iran and Unite States, in general no important political or economic event that can cause a permanent decline in the Forex and gold coin prices has happened inside or outside Iran in the past 100 days.

So any fluctuations in the Forex and gold coin prices are just because of the optimistic point of view in society which is likely to continue in the coming days.

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