MPs Approve Macroeconomic Targets
The Iranian Parliament approved on Monday macroeconomic targets set in the sixth five-year development plan (2016-21).
Out of the 210 parliamentarians present in the session, 148 MPs voted in favor and 11 against the indices, while 16 lawmakers abstained, IRNA reported.
As per the approval, the GDP growth rate is targeted to stand at an average of 8% annually throughout the plan.
According to the Statistical Center of Iran's latest report, Iran's GDP during the first six months of the current fiscal year (started March 20, 2016) grew 6.5% compared with last year's corresponding period. The growth was put at 4.5%, excluding oil.
The Central Bank of Iran has put Iran's H1 economic growth rate higher at 7.4%.
The World Bank Group in its latest analysis of Iran’s economy has forecast Iran’s economy to grow at an annual average rate of 4.5% in 2016–18.
The bank, in Iran Economic Monitor for fall, has revised up the real GDP growth for 2016 by 0.1 percentage points at 4.3%, reflecting a larger increase in oil and gas production. In particular, the oil and gas sector is projected to grow by 14.5% in 2016 up from 12.9% in the previous estimate.
The parliamentarians also set an average annual growth target of 6.7% for Iran's gross national product.
> Inflation Target Set at 8.8%
The approval sees average inflation rate throughout the Sixth Plan standing at 8.8%.
The average goods and services Consumer Price Index for urban areas in the 12 months ending December 20, which marks the end of the Iranian month of Azar, increased 8.6% compared with last year’s corresponding period, according to the latest report released by the Central Bank of Iran.
The CBI had put the inflation rate for the preceding month of Aban, which ended on November 20, at 8.6% as well. The overall CPI (using Iranian fiscal year to March 2012 as base year) stood at 252.9 in Azar, indicating a 1.4% growth compared with the previous month.
The index registered a year-on-year increase of 9.2% compared with the similar month of last year.
The CBI report came after the Statistical Center of Iran put Aban inflation at 7.2%.
The government of President Hassan Rouhani lowered runaway inflation that hit above 40% during the former administration to below 10% for the rolling year ending June 20 for the first time in a quarter century.
> 10.2% for Unemployment
As for unemployment, the MPs estimated a 10.2% average rate for the five-year period ending March 2021.
According to the latest figures released by SCI, the unemployment rate in the second quarter of the current Iranian year (June 21-Sept. 20, 2016) stood at 12.7%. The figure registers a 1.8% increase compared with last summer and a 0.5% rise compared with the previous quarter (March 20-June 20, 2016).
The new data show 3.33 million Iranians were unemployed in Q2. It also shows 10.4% of men and 21.8% of women of ages 10 and above were jobless during the period.
The unemployment rate was 14.4% for urban areas and 7.9% for rural areas. Joblessness was higher among women compared to men and among those living in urban areas.
The youth unemployment rate, i.e. the proportion of the population between the ages of 15 and 29, stood at 26.7% in summer, registering a 3.3% rise compared with the same period of last year and a 1.8% increase over last quarter.
Other forecasts by the MPs include a 21.4% average annual growth for gross fixed capital formation; an average annual liquidity growth rate of 17%; an average annual productivity growth rate of 2.8%; a 5% average annual growth in government spending; 21.7% average annual growth in non-oil exports and a 16.9% in overall imports.
According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran’s non-oil foreign trade stood at $81.38 billion in the last Iranian year (March 2015-16). Imports amounted to $40.13 billion—down 22.77% compared with the preceding year.
Exports reached $41.24 billion, indicating a 16.3% drop.
IRICA's latest statistics show non-oil foreign trade during the nine months of the current Iranian year (started March 20) stood at $63.12 billion.
About 91.26 million tons of commodities worth $31.59 billion were exported during the period, registering a 9.05% rise in value compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Imports stood at 24.86 million tons worth $31.53 billion, indicating a 4.38% rise in value year-on-year.