Iran currency plunge leads to inflation increase

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 27

Trend:

Iran’s Central Bank in a report released June 27 said that the country’s inflation rate in urban areas for the 12-month period to the last Iranian calendar month (ended on June 21) has increased by 0.3 percent compared to the preceding month and stood at 9.4 percent.

Earlier the Statistics Center of Iran put the inflation rate for the same period at 8.2 percent, 0.1 percent more compared to its figure for last month.

The CBI report indicates a 1.2 percent difference between the figures unveiled by the two official Iranian entities.

The announced inflation rate between the two organizations has been different in recent months and the Statistical Center's inflation rate has been lower than that of the Central Bank.

The Central Bank also said that setting the Iranian fiscal year 1395 (March 21, 2016 to March 20, 2017) as the main one, that is 1395=100, the consumer price index (CPI) in Iran’s urban areas stood at 122.6 units in the last Iranian calendar month, which is 4.3 percent more than in the preceding month.

The CBI said that the recent decrease of Iran’s national currency value has led to increase of the inflation, expressing hope that the figure would remain one-digit in coming months.

Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on June 24, continuing its slide amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew the US from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The US dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday, the last trading day before Iran’s weekend, according to foreign exchange websites, which track the unofficial market.

The fall of the national currency has provoked a public outcry over the quick rise of prices of imported consumer goods.

In an effort to halt the slide, Iranian authorities announced in April they were unifying the US dollar’s official and black market exchange rates at a single level of 42,000, and banning any trade at other rates under the threat of arrest.

The figure shows an annual growth of 13.7 percent.

The index for foods and drinks shows an increase by 8.8 percent compared to the preceding month and a growth rate of 16.8 percent compared to the same time of last year, according to the CBI.

The index for tobacco registered a rise by 5.4 percent compared to the preceding month and a growth rate of 28.7 percent when compared to the same time last year.

The index for clothes and health care increased by 9.8 and 10.9 percent year-on-year, meanwhile the index for housing, electricity and fuels witnessed a 10.1 percent increase.

The education sector registered an annual growth of 13.7 percent.

The annual increase for ICT, transportation and service sectors stood at 10.1, 17.6 and 11.5 percent, respectively.

The Iranian Parliament Research Center has forecasted that Iran’ inflation rate in the current fiscal year (started March 20) will become 11.5 percent.

The inflation rate in Iran in 2005 was about 10.4 percent, but it climbed above 37 percent, before President Hassan Rouhani came to power in mid-2013. Nonetheless, for the first time over the past 26 years, that figure declined into a single-digit row, bottoming out at 8.6 percent in June 2016.

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