Bloomberg on Iran’s H1 Growth

Bloomberg on Iran’s H1 Growth
Bloomberg on Iran’s H1 Growth

Iran’s economy grew by3% in the six months to mid-September compared with the same period of last year, despite an ongoing struggle with the Middle East’s worst coronavirus outbreak and crippling US sanctions.
Abdolnasser Hemmati, the head of the Central Bank of Iran, attributed the recovery to a boost in manufacturing and agriculture, plus improved cash flow at the country’s banks. 
Non-oil gross domestic product grew 1.4% from a year earlier, Hemmati said in a statement posted on Instagram on Sunday.
It’s unclear whether the calculation accounts for inflation, which soared more than 30 percentage points to 41% in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund. The period under review coincides with the first half of the Iranian year, which started on March 20, reads a Bloomberg article. Below is the full text:
Coronavirus policy may also have been a factor. Ill-equipped to effectively manage or control its virus outbreak, Iran eased its first lockdown in the first week of April, well ahead of most other countries, in an effort to keep its economy afloat.
The Islamic Republic has tried to develop its domestic manufacturing base and services sector as part of a broader national policy of building a “resistance economy” that is less dependent on oil and better-shielded from US sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump.
The policy also includes a drive to increase non-oil exports to regional neighbors after Trump’s campaign to crush the Iranian economy sent the value of the rial plummeting and caused output to contract 6.5% in 2019.
In October, the IMF forecast that Iran’s real economy would shrink by 5% by the end of 2020, making it the second-best performing oil exporter in the Middle East after Qatar. 
The lender also predicted that of the region’s oil-exporting countries, Iran and Algeria would make the strongest recovery, both growing 3.2% in 2021.
Earlier on Sunday, Iran set out ambitions to raise oil production next year, assuming Joe Biden will loosen US sanctions after he becomes president.
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told lawmakers on Saturday that Iran planned to export 2.3 million barrels a day from March 2021, compared to just 133,000 according to the latest data compiled by Bloomberg. Almost all of Iran’s shipments go to China.
Iran’s oil revenue, once its single-largest source of foreign currency, has nosedived since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed sanctions.
Biden has said he wants to bring the US back into the accord and lift penalties, if the Islamic Republic also returns to full compliance with the agreement.

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