Economy, Domestic Economy

WB Iran Industrial Growth Figure Not Official

WB Iran Industrial Growth Figure Not OfficialWB Iran Industrial Growth Figure Not Official

An official in the ministry of industry, mine and trade said that World Bank’s (WB) figure of -16.4 percent growth for Iran’s industrial production was only an estimate and not an official figure, IRNA reported.

As explained in the introduction of World Bank’s “Development Prospect”, the report is only an estimate made by their specialists of global economic trends who help the organization in risk management, Hossein Mehrizi said. All statistics regarding Iran’s industrial production has been revised from Q3 2013 to Q1 2014, which is proof to this statement, he added.

“Therefore, the Q2 2014 prediction will be most probably revised in WB’s Q3 2014 report,” stated Mehrizi, who is deputy industry minister for planning.

The footnote printed at the bottom of page 5 of the report - where it notes the negative growth rate for Iran’s industrial production - clearly states that the estimate includes the output of manufacturing, mining and utilities sector and does not encompass construction. That’s while similar reports by the Central Bank of Iran cover construction as well. Thus, drawing comparisons between the two figures is not correct, according to Mehrizi.

In the meantime, the footnote also maintains that in cases where accurate data has not been accessible, manufacturing output - or in case of oil producing countries, their oil output (as in the case of Iran) - has been used instead, he added.

According to Mehrizi, as the data for most sectors of Iranian economy has not been accessible, WB analysts have resorted to oil production statistics to measure industrial output, which is not a realistic calculation. According to the CBI, the non-oil sector of Iran has registered an improvement in the first quarter of the current year (March 21 – June 21), he said.

He also clarified that the statements made by the officials in the ministry simply highlight the gap between WB estimates and the current situation and that oil production data is not a good substitute for industrial production. “That does not mean that we reject or dismiss the World Bank statistics.”

Mehrizi noted that the difference between Iran’s own official statistics and WB figures is similar to the common difference between any organization’s estimates and official statistics, and should not be seen as a major disagreement.

Actually, it is the wrong interpretation of similar statistics by some media that may cast doubt on the authenticity of official statistics and this should be avoided, he asserted.