TEHRAN (AFP) – The increase in food prices accelerated in Iran in September, when the cost of a basket of 45 staple food items showed a mighty leap of nearly 50 percent from the same month a year earlier, the Kargozaran newspaper reported Sunday, citing central bank figures.
For the three Iranian months of Tir, Mordad and Shahrivar (July to September), year-on-year food price inflation was 28.98, 40.08 and 48.46 percent respectively, taking the average increase for the summer period to 39.2 percent, the daily said.
Items monitored for the inflation figures include meat, beans, rice, sugar, fruits and dairy products.
Many economists have accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of directly fuelling the price rises by ploughing huge amounts of cash into the economy to fund local infrastructure projects and small production units.
In spite of efforts by the central bank to shrink the excessive volume of loans, analysts say the government has already injected so much oil money into the economy that inflation will remain high for months and years to come.
Ahmadinejad this week replaced the head of the central bank, Tahmasb Mazaheri, in a bid to bring more harmony to his economic team around his expansionary policies.
The central bank was eager to reassert its control of the money supply — a key indicator of future inflation trends — after annual inflation hit 26 percent in June.
In August, Iran’s inflation rate reached 27.6 percent, as citizens were again battered by rising prices of foodstuffs and other goods.