Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff

INU- Iran’s inflation rate has risen by nearly 35% from last year, according to the Iranian Statistical Centre, which calculated the rate based on price indexes for consumer goods and services between October 23 and November 22.

It found that the average family had to spend 34.9% more on goods compared to November 2017 and 2.1% more compared with October 2018. They further explained that the 12-month inflation rate reached 15.6 % this month, compared with 13.4% during the same period last year

While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a report on November 13 predicting that Iran’s inflation rate would rise by 40% in the next year, with unemployment increasing from 13% to 14.3%. In the same report, the IMF advised that Iran’s GDP would drop by 1.5% this year and 3.6% next year.

Of course, the problem is that both of these findings are subject to the Iranian Regime’s bias, as the IMF bases its report on official government figures. The true economic situation in Iran is much worse.

Professor Steve Hanke, an American applied economist at the Johns Hopkins University, advised that the current rate is roughly 218% and Iranians “continue to suffer under some of the worst government-induced inflationary regimes in the world”.

Affecting the Workers
Many Iranians are living below the poverty line, which is set at 3 million tomans (around $712) per month. Most workers only bring home around 1.4 million tomans (around $330), which labour activists say is not enough to meet even 50% of their needs.

The Regime has failed to do anything that would actually improve the situation, i.e. cutting off money to terrorist groups, abiding by US demands in order to get sanctions lifted. Instead, they are giving out so-called support packages to workers and retirees who make less than 3 million tomans.

This does not address the problem of the continuous reduction of purchasing power and the worsening living conditions for Iranians and is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a bullet hole. Not only that, but many Iranian are sceptical about how long these packages will continue, highlighting that it has been tried before and quickly discontinued.

Alireza Fathi, a member of the board of directors of the Tehran Islamic Council of Workers, explained that rising prices have been a problem for the past three decades, but the upsurge in inflation is a new thing.

He said: “Our information on what workers are experiencing tells us that the economic situation and livelihood crises are so deep that workers do not react to the devastating economic faults that are constantly moving. Workers have been abandoned until the point of an (economic) earthquake when they are forgotten forever. Government officials know this quite well but their ultimate response… is support packages.”

Fathi did note that these new figures showed that the Regime is definitely not controlling inflation, but preferring to sweep the problem under the rug.
This increased pressure on workers is leading to high rates of suicide, depression, drug abuse, and divorce, but it also leads to increased protests against the Regime.

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