January 21, 2020
The latest report on inflation by Iran Statistical Center (ISC) says foodstuff prices have climbed 30 percent compared with last year, in an unrelenting trend of rising inflation and prices in the sanctions-hit country.
ISC is the only entity issuing sporadic economic reports in Iran since March 2019, when the Central Bank and other government offices stopped issuing economic reports.
The ISC report says among various food items, prices for vegetables and beans rose fastest in the 30-day period ending December 21, compared with the same period in 2018. The price gain for these food group was 48 percent.
Red meat and poultry prices rose 32 percent and bread and grains rose 30 percent. The least price increase was in the dairy and eggs sector that gained 25 percent.
Already high inflation picked up speed in Iran in 2018 as the United States pulled out of the nuclear agreement with imposed hard sanctions on the country. The national currency lost its value fourfold in two years as the government oil revenues nosedived under sanctions.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have estimated Iran’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to have contracted around nine percent in 2019, which is close to a depression-level economic crisis.
The United States is demanding a tougher nuclear agreement that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, a limit to its ballistic missiles program and a change in its regional behavior.