An International Monetary Fund mission led by Mr. Abdelali Jbili, Assistant Director in the Middle East and Central Asia Department, has completed a review of economic developments in Iran and held policy discussions with the authorities under the IMF's annual consultations with Iran.
According to the IMF, the mission noted that in 2003-04 real GDP growth was high and broad based, unemployment declined, gross international reserves increased to the equivalent of more than six months of imports of goods and services, but the external current surplus narrowed compared to the previous year. Inflation remained at about 15 percent. The prospects for 2004-05 also look favorable, aided by higher oil revenue and the continued strong momentum of private sector investment. Growth is expected to remain at about 6 ½ percent, with most sectors showing relatively strong performance.
The mission noted that more restrained fiscal and monetary policies would help reduce liquidity growth and inflation. It also highlighted the need to build precautionary savings in the Oil Stabilization Fund (OSF) at a time when oil prices are high. The authorities shared the mission's views on the need to reduce domestic liquidity growth to keep inflation under control and help sustain high growth rates and employment creation over the medium term. The mission supports the authorities' efforts to strengthen the financial sector and further improve its supervision. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )