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4/28/04

EIU increases Iran's GDP growth forecast to 4 percent this year

London, April 28, IRNA -- For the second successive month, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has upped its forecast of GDP growth in Iran both for the current fiscal year and for 2003/04.

In its latest global forecast Wednesday, the London-based consultancy upped its predicted GDP growth to 6.2 percent for the year which ended in March and to four percent for 2004/05.

Last month, its respective forecasts were 6.1 percent and 3.6 percent after originally forecasting GDP growths of 5.4 percent and 3.5 percent last December.

The increase in 2003/04 was attributed partly to the strong growth in oil production but mainly owing to strong domestic demand, which has benefited from the easing of import restrictions and subsequent robust growth in non-oil industrial and manufacturing activity.

The easing back to a revised four percent in fiscal 2004 was largely because OPEC is expected to cut output sharply in an attempt to arrest the downturn in oil prices, thus lowering Iranian export volumes.

The latest forecast also predicted GDP growth in Iran for 2005/06 at 3.9 percent, up from 3.8 percent forecast last month and from 3.5 percent predicted last December.

No change was made in its oil price forecast, which was steeply revised upwards last month to an average price of dated Brent crude to dlrs 27 per barrel for 2004 and dlrs 22 per barrel for 2005.

The EIU made small upward revisions to its 2004 GDP growth forecasts for a number of OECD and developing countries, predicting a world average of 3.7 percent, which it expected to slow to 3.1 percent next year.

But it presented a bleak picture for euro-zone economies, lowering its forecast from 1.8 percent to 1.6 percent GDP growth in the single currency area for 2004.

... Payvand News - 4/28/04 ... --



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