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Iran's economic growth up 5.5%

TEHRAN, May 16 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran's total economic growth was registered 5.5 percent in the last Iranian year (started March 21, 2005), Ebrahim Sheibani, the chairman of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said on Tuesday.

He also said that the Iranian national currency gained 8 percent in value against the foreign currencies.

Speaking at CBI's 16th Annual Conference on Monetary and Hard Currency Policies, the chairman stated that the last-year economic growth was higher than its preceding figure.

Sheibani put the cash amount at Rls.921 billion in the last Iranian year, stating, it grew by 34.3 percent compared with its previous figure.

He noted that experts are surprised at the country's technical, scientific and industrial achievements which prove that the national economy is growing, IRNA reported.

He said that given the economic indices, Iran is undoubtedly in a stage of economic boom.

"Meanwhile, the country's progress in the domains of science and technicalities shows that it is actually taking place. However, we should be quite careful at this stage," he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said that the surplus of the balance of Iran's current account, including the commercial and service balances, has been raised from $1.442 billion in 2004 to $14.36 billion in the current year, registering an approximate nine-fold boost.

He put Iran's commercial balance of the past year at $19.42 billion, the revenue from oil exports at $48.822 billion and that of non-oil exports at $11.189 billion.

Concerning Iran's foreign commitments, he said that a 7.4 percent drop was observed past year. "In other words, the figure dropped from $42.7 billion to $41.1 billion," he added.

Sheibani said that in the past year, Iran's hard currency deposit account stood at $8.708 billion, adding the given amounts are withdrawn from it for new commitments, by the end of the current year it is expected to reach $3.391 billion.

The CBI director predicted that if the price of crude oil per barrel remains at 60 dollars, given the commitments, an amount of 14.5 $billion is expected to remain at the hard currency deposit account by the end of the current Iranian year, falling on March 21, 2007.

Putting the growth rate of national prices in the past year at 12.1 percent, he said, "CBI deputy governor for economic affairs will fully brief the mass media on the reasons for reduction of inflation despite the growing liquidity."

He said that a 45 percent growth was observed in Iran's export of non-oil products in the past year, adding that the growth rate of exported non-oil products has exceeded that of oil.

... Payvand News - 5/18/06 ... --

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