Economy, Domestic Economy

9-Month Economic Growth Meager

9-Month Economic Growth Meager9-Month Economic Growth Meager

The economy grew a meager 0.7% during the nine months of the Iranian year (ended Dec. 21, 2015), says Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht.

“Unlike last year, we were not successful in achieving an agreeable economic growth, due to limited oil revenues. Good growth needs investment,” Nobakht was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

According to President Hassan Rouhani, Iran needs foreign investments worth $30 billion to $50 billion to achieve its 8% annual growth target, as per the outlines of the sixth five-year development plan (2016-21).

Nobakht added that the main force behind the growth during the nine-month period was the agricultural sector, which made up for the weak performance in the services and industrial sectors.

Earlier on Saturday, Valiollah Seif, governor of the Central Bank of Iran, said the country expects economic growth of more than 5% in 2016. “Iran’s economic growth slowed down in 2015 but domestic and international predictions both indicate that growth in 2016 would be over 5%,” Seif said.

Iran’s GDP expanded 3% in 2014, after a 1.9% contraction in 2013 and a 6.6% contraction the year before.

Speaking in a televised program on Saturday, the government spokesman also dismissed claims that the government has been running a budget deficit this year and said this year’s budget has been “almost completely balanced”.