10/31/2018, 09.37
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Tehran faces the specter of 'hyper-inflation'

According to the Central Bank, the figure for the month of October reached 15.9%. Compared to the same period last year, the increase is 36.9%. President Rouhani tries to reassure the country: "No danger". And for the Statistics office the rate in October is 2.1%. Breadths held ahead of entry into force of sanctions on banks and oil.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The inflation rate in Iran reached 15.9% in October, in a severe economic crisis due to US trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic. This is what emerges from the data published by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), according to which the situation is destined to worsen even more in the coming weeks following the entry into force of the second block of sanctions against the banking system and oil.

Compared to the same month last year, the inflation figure shows a growth of 36.9%. An alarming fact, which poses the concrete risk of "super-inflation" and could drag the country to an economic collapse similar to that of Venezuela.

President Hassan Rouhani is trying to reassure the country by branding economists who raise the alarm on the state of health of the nation as "liars". During a meeting in Parliament over the last few days, he said that "those who throw the danger of hyper-inflation are either liars or do not understand Iran's economy".

Words that were immediately  corrected a few minutes later by the newly-elected Economy Minister Farhad Dejpasand, who spoke of "hyper-inflation risk" for the Islamic Republic. A gaffe that he then tried to correct in a second speech before the Assembly, trying to reassure deputies and citizens on the solidity of the national system.

Last May, Washington imposed new sanctions, the toughest sanctions in history , after pulling out of the nuclear agreement (the JCPOA). A decision that caused a significant drop in the Iranian economy and a collapse in oil sales, the goal of the second part of the sanctions that will come into force on 4 November. This has all been at the expense primarily of the weakest part of the population,

The term "hyper-inflation", said Rouhani, "is based on incorrect economic and political analysis". He therefore assured that a huge increase in rates will be put on hold.

The government is launching reassuring messages based on optimism, but comparisons with Venezuela are starting to circulate with increasing frequency in the national press, which is around 50-55% of inflation. Only in the last few months the figure in Iran has grown from 11.5% in August to 13.5% in September, before moving to 15.9% in October.

However, there are other institutions that publish more reassuring data, confirming the great confusion that reigns around the economy of the country: the Iranian Statistics Center sets the inflation rate for October at 2.1%, a value much lower than to that of CBI. In contrast, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast a figure of 29.6% by the end of the year and a negative economic growth rate (-1.5%).

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