TEHRAN (Reuters) – Consumer prices in Iran rose 17.9 percent in the year to Sept. 22, the central bank said, releasing data showing inflation is continuing a steady rise in the oil-rich Islamic Republic.
The consumer price index climbed 17.3 percent in the year to
Economists say profligate spending of Iran’s oil revenue is stoking inflation, but the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the problem has been exaggerated and that the issue is under control.
Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, has made windfall gains from the high oil price in recent years. It expects to earn about $70 billion from oil exports in the year to March 2008.
The monthly inflation report issued on the central bank’s Web site (www.cbi.ir) said food prices climbed by 20 percent in the year to Sept. 22, which corresponds to the end of the Iranian month of Shahrivar.
Inflation is one of the biggest gripes for many Iranians and Ahmadinejad’s government has faced mounting criticism from the public and the media since he took office in 2005 for failing to rein in price rises.
Iranians often complain official figures do not correspond to price rises they see in shops. Economists say this is partly because most people are concerned about a narrower range of goods and partly because the basket includes subsidised items.
Inflation has been fuelled by rising liquidity in Iran. An Iranian newspaper reported last month that money supply rose by 40 percent in the 12 months to July.