In a recent statement, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the deputy coordinator of the Iran regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), made the claim that Iran’s economic growth surpasses that of the United States. He further emphasized that it is the regime’s responsibility to inform the population about this notable progress.
Additionally, Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, made a similarly exaggerated statement, asserting that the people can feel the advancements in the economic field.
However, it is important to critically analyze these statements. When comparing Iran’s economic growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2022, as reported by the state-run news agency Fars, with the United States’ growth rate of 1.9 percent, they fail to acknowledge the vast discrepancy in the scale of the two economies.
Iran’s economy is relatively weaker compared to the United States’ $25 trillion economy, which has experienced a growth rate close to 2 percent. Therefore, drawing a direct comparison between Iran’s GDP and the US economy is not only ludicrous but also misleading.
It is worth noting that the World Bank has estimated a decline of approximately 2.2 percent in the regime’s economic growth. This forecast provides a more accurate assessment of the economic situation, challenging the overly optimistic claims made by Naqdi and Alamolhoda.
The issue at hand is why the purchasing power of the people is declining year after year and why they face significant difficulties in affording basic commodities, despite the regime’s claim that the country’s economy ranks 22nd globally.
The truth was unveiled by the state-run Daily Arman, which stated that per capita income alone cannot adequately address the declining purchasing power and essential needs of the people. The article highlighted concerning figures, such as the average price of one square meter of a house in Tehran reaching 60 million tomans, and housing rent comprising 70% of households’ consumption basket, in addition to food expenses.
Furthermore, it pointed out the staggering 400% increase in chicken prices over the past two years, questioning whether wages have similarly witnessed a 400% increase. The article emphasized that the only viable path enhances per capita income lies in effectively managing and controlling inflation.
It is crucial to highlight that the regime has consistently withheld genuine statistics and often provides false information to international organizations and institutions. This trend has intensified under the government of Ebrahim Raisi, which has exposed the regime’s precarious economic and political situation.
In this context, the regime has recently released new statistics on economic developments, which appear peculiar and surprising. The state-run daily Fardayeh Eghtesad reported that the Statistics Center’s latest economic growth figures exhibit significant variations compared to previous updates. For instance, the economic growth rate for 2020 has been revised from 1 percent to 3.3 percent, while earlier quarterly reports had sometimes shown no changes at all.
This pattern holds true for the seasonal economic growth numbers announced for the years 2021 and 2022, with substantial differences compared to previous figures observed in most seasons. Consequently, these factors have resulted in significant fluctuations in the final economic growth figures for the entire year.
It is important to note that these estimates are in stark contrast to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund forecasts, which projected Iran’s economic growth at around 2.2 percent for the previous year.
Saeed Laylaz, an economist associated with the regime, has shed further light on the reasons behind the regime’s deception and statistical manipulation. He disclosed that the methods employed were deliberately manipulated to conceal accurate records of inflation. In fact, the inflation rate for 2022 surpassed the 50 percent threshold, marking the highest inflation rate since 1943.
Laylaz also revealed another concerning factor contributing to the dire situation—the rampant liquidity growth in recent years. He emphasized that this issue has reached catastrophic levels, with two-thirds of the liquidity being generated because of disharmony among banks and corruption within the network. He aptly described this liquidity as “the complete looting of the Iranian nation.”
It is intriguing to observe that a similar tactic was employed in the case of liquidity growth. Despite the statistics indicating a substantial increase in liquidity, the reported figures do not accurately reflect a doubling of the actual liquidity volume. As a result, the current estimate places the liquidity at approximately 7 trillion tomans.
An interesting observation is that even in countries like Russia and Afghanistan, which are dealing with war and chaos, the inflation rates are considerably lower compared to the regime. This fact is also reflected in the statistics provided by international institutions. For instance, the World Bank has announced a notable decrease in inflation in Afghanistan. The inflation rate, which stood at 18.3 percent in the previous year, has significantly dropped to 3.5 percent in the current year.