Iran inflation reaches 8.9pc
Tehran, October 9, 2010
Iran's inflation rate reached to 8.9 per cent in the last Iranian month, the official website of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said on Saturday, a slight increase from 8.8 per cent in the previous month.
'The inflation rate has reached 8.9 per cent in the past 12 months by the end of (the Iranian month of) Shahrivar (September 22) compared to the same period last year,' said a central bank report.
Iran's economy is facing hardship because of foreign sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear programme, which the United States and its European allies fear is a cover to build bombs. Iran says it needs nuclear technology to generate power to meet booming domestic demand.
Iran's hardline authorities deny sanctions are having an impact on the economy, saying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic policy is conducive to lowering the inflation.
Head of the Central Bank of Iran Mahmoud Bahmani had said Iran aimed to bring inflation down to four per cent, without giving further details.
Analysts argue that the unofficial inflation rate is over 30 per cent. Parliament's research centre said last month that the inflation rate was around 50 per cent and some hardline clerics have criticised the government for providing false figures.
The government's plan to slash $20 billion of subsidies from Sept. 23, have been delayed after economists and lawmakers warned that it could lead to huge rises in prices of goods which are currently heavily subsidised, including gasoline, electricity and natural gas.
Cutting subsidies on fuel and food, which critics say will increase the cost of living, is a high-risk strategy for the government and may revive anti-government protests that shook the country for months after last year's disputed presidential election.
The opposition says the vote was rigged to secure Ahmadinejad's re-election. The government denies the allegation.
Iran, the world's fifth biggest crude oil producer, lacks refining capacity and imports 40 per cent of the gasoline it needs. However, authorities said in September that Iran has become self-sufficient in producing gasoline. – Reuters