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Iran inflation ticks up to 10.1 per cent

Tehran, January 3, 2011

Iran's inflation rate reached 10.1 per cent in December year-on-year, the central bank said on its website on Monday, picking up slightly after the government lifted subsidies on  food and fuel in December.

'The inflation rate has reached 10.1 per cent in the past 12 months by the end of (the Iranian month of) Azar (December 21) compared to the same period last year,' said a central bank report.

'The inflation rate was 9.7 per cent in the previous Iranian month of Aban.'

The government began slashing $20 billion of subsidies from December 19 despite warnings by economists and critics who noted it could lead to huge rises in prices of goods which  were heavily subsidised, including gasoline, electricity and  natural gas.

Removing subsidies could make Iran less vulnerable to any possible Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme.

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.

The head of the Central Bank of Iran, Mahmoud Bahmani, had said Iran aimed to bring inflation down to 4 per cent, without giving further details.

Some Iranian clerics and lawmakers have accused the  government of publishing false figures. Parliament's research  centre said last year the inflation rate was over 50 per cent-Reuters




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