Iran’s Central Bank has announced that the national inflation rate as 16.3 percent, ending a two-month delay in revealing where inflation stands.
Mahmoud Bahmani, the head of Iran’s Central Bank, expressed hope that the inflation rate would fall, predicting that the country would move to a single-digit rate in the coming year.
Iran’s inflation rate has gone from 8.8 percent in May of 2010 to 12.8 percent last March. The new report indicates there was a further increase of four percentage points over the past four months.
Since the government began cutting subsidies on energy and food staples such as bread and sugar, the inflation rate has been on a steep rise, climbing a reported six percentage points in the first eight months of the new subsidy regime.
Many analysts predict a further rise in the inflation rate due to the cuts to government subsidies.
The government has been sharply criticized for its failure to adequately report economic statistics, with some analysts maintaining that the administration is trying to cover up an economic decline.
Despite criticism from Parliament and the Central Bank, the administration has transferred the responsibility for publishing national economic statistics from the Central Bank to the National Statistics Centre. However, so far the Statistics Centre has failed to release any data on the inflation rate.