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Official puts Iran's unemployment rate at 12.8%

An Iranian official said in Tehran on Saturday that a rate of 12.8 percent for unemployment, estimated in last year's `Aban' (October 23-November 21) survey by Iran's Statistics Center, was reliable and valid, IRNA reported.

Deputy Head of Iran's Statistics Center (ISC) for Statistical Projects Khalil Saeedi told IRNA that unreliable statistics, released by certain channels, are not supported by scientific theories and models and only confuse executive officials and planners and provoke public anxiety.

Saeedi put the number of jobless in Iran at 2.6 million people.

State Management and Planning Organization last year predicted a rate of 16 percent for unemployment this year.

MPO projects 14 percent inflation rate this year

An economist Bahman Partovi said in Tehran on Saturday that the Management and Plan Organization (MPO) aiming to control inflation has vowed to cap the increase in state employees salaries at the level of the expected inflation or 14 percent in the current Iranian year (started March 21).

He told IRNA that any increase of state employees salaries over 14 percent will stock inflationary pressures in the economy.

He said in addition to salary increases for government employees, other inflationary pressures stem from structural rigidity, lack of gross in real sector, weak production of goods and productive services, government borrowing from the central bank, a rampant consumption mentality and growth in non-productive sector of the economy.

He also said the MPO is "optimistic" in its projection of the inflation rate and reckoned that it (rate) may even top 20 percent or as a Majlis commission has estimated may exceed 21.7 percent.

Head of the MPO Mohammad Sattarifar said here last week that the government plans to expedite banking privatization, and strengthen national currency and therefore controlling inflation.

Sattarifar also told reporters that government plans to check price hike this year and a special committee has been assigned to deal with the task of price control.

Government put the rate of inflation in 2002 at 16 percent saying the figure stood at 14.8 percent in 2000 and 11.4 percent in 2001.

The Third Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2000-2005) puts annual rate of inflation at 15.9 percent. Under the plan forecast, the figure stood at 19.9 percent in the year ending March 2001, 17.4 percent in year ending March 2002 and 15.3 percent for year upto March 2003. The figure is expected to be 14 percent the next Iranian year and 13 percent in the year following that.

Based on statistics, released by the CBI, inflation rate was 12.6 percent in the year which ended March 2001 and 11.4 percent in the year after that.

Based on the CBI statistics the rate of inflation averaged 25.5 percent in the period 1990-1999. The maximum rate was registered in 1995, fixing at 49.4 percent.

Majlis Research Department put the inflation rate for the year upto March 2002 at 17 percent and for the year which will end in March 2003 at 21.3 percent.

Government has been trying to follow contractionary policies, including raising taxes, issuing bonds, and revising banking policies.

... Payvand News - 5/4/03 ... --

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