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Iran's economy 'on a good trend'

One of the country's vice presidents slightly exaggerated growth, though an IMF report verifies the general pace.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Iran's economy 'on a good trend'
Iran says its economy is in good shape in the post-sanctions environment, even amid warnings of external pressures. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI. | License Photo

Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The economy for oil-rich Iran is in good shape and the rate of inflation has been under control for the last two years, the country's first vice president said.

Eshaq Jahangiri laid out his read on the Iranian economy during a meeting with provincial leaders, saying growth was around 6 percent during the first half of the Iranian year, which began March 21. Inflation, meanwhile, was in the single digits for the last two years.

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"The country's growth is on a good trend," he was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Jahangiri's estimate on growth is more optimistic than the last estimate of 4.2 percent growth in gross domestic product in 2017-18 from the International Monetary Fund. Inflation, meanwhile, is just under 10 percent, according to the IMF, though that rate was mentioned as a growth inhibitor for Iran.

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Catriona Purfield, a country team leader for the IMF, said growth would be sustained for Iran even though economic pressures have increased since U.S. President Donald Trump took office last year.

On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump pledged to rip up the U.N.-brokered nuclear agreement that brought some sanctions relief to Iran. Purfield noted that, while growth is apparent for Iran, it will be tested by near-team challenges in the way of "external uncertainty."

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Iran is one of the larger producers among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and French and Chinese energy companies were among those expressing interest in doing business with Iran in the post-sanctions environment. The Central Bank of Iran reported total receipts from the export of oil products and natural gas condensate at $2.5 billion over the last seven months, a 41 percent improvement over the same period during the previous year.

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Iran produced about 3.8 million barrels per day in November, a slight decline from the previous month. Total Iranian oil production last year was around 3.79 million barrels per day.

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