Economy, Business And Markets

5-6% Growth Forecast for Industrial, Mining Sector

5-6% Growth Forecast for Industrial, Mining Sector5-6% Growth Forecast for Industrial, Mining Sector

Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade,  Hossein Abooei Mehrizi predicts a growth of 5-6 percent in the industrial and mining sector for the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 20), Eghtesadnews reported.

Noting that the government has predicted 3% economic growth for the current year, he said the industrial and mining sector is expected to overtake other sectors in terms of economic growth.

Iran's overall economic growth was estimated at 4% during the first half of the current year (the period ended September 22, 2014) while the growth in the industrial and mining sector was 7.5%, with the industrial sector experiencing 6.5% growth during the period, said the official.

The deputy minister further announced the growth in the production of various products during the first ten months of the current Iranian year, compared with the similar period last year. According to the official, crude steel production witnessed 7.3% growth, while the figure was 3.1% for steel products, 3.5% for copper cathodes, 23.8% for tile and ceramics, 9.8% for glass products, 7.7% for porcelain, and 24.8% for ceramic sanitary ware and bathroom fixtures.

The products which registered negative growths during the period included aluminum ingots with 5.8%, cement with 4.7% and coal concentrate with 7.8%, according to the official.

Despite the promising statistics announced by the industry ministry, and the government's success in curbing inflation, the private sector players believe the current administration, led by President Hassan Rouhani, has not done enough to help the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

As we approach the year's end, assessing the manufacturing sector suggests that the administration has no specific plans to reinvent the sector. The government's top priority appears to be reducing the inflation rate, a member of the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA), Bahador Ehramian told Mehr news agency.    

Acknowledging that the government has taken important steps towards helping the economy, "despite having limited financial resources," Ehramian emphasized the need for helping the manufacturing sector recover from its current recession.

A serious challenge faced by the manufacturers and industrial companies is their overdue debts. Banks and financial institutions are pressuring them to clear their debts but under the current circumstances, the manufacturers are unable to do so. Meanwhile, some industries are also faced with low demand in the market. The steel industry, for instance, is in doldrums affected by the unprecedented downturn in the construction sector and the sharp decline in capital projects during the past three years.