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Iran's economic growth to outperform MENA states: Report


Source: Press TV

Iran’s economic growth will outperform most of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries in 2016 when sanctions are lifted, a Washington-based finance industry body says. Iran will post a growth increase of about six percent next year up from 1.4%, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a report.

Iran has the most diversified economy in MENA, chief IIF economist Garbis Iradian says.
(photo: Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz)

Fifteen MENA countries are expected to record a combined growth of three percent in 2015, down from the average of 4.5% between 2005 and 2014, the IIF said, citing lower oil prices as the reason.

The group touched on Iran’s economic status as the second largest economy of the region. "Iran has the most diversified economy in MENA, before the UAE," chief IIF economist Garbis Iradian said.

Senior IIF economist Giyas Gokkent said the lifting of sanctions on Iran, combined with the return of foreign expertise, will allow for a rebound of the country’s oil exports to pre-sanctions levels within six months.

Gokkent said over 700,000 barrels of Iranian oil will enter global energy markets by the end of 2015.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Middle East and North Africa are set to benefit from Iran’s nuclear agreement, lifting economic growth in the region next year.

In its biannual World Economic Outlook, the IMF said growth will “pick up substantially in 2016, supported by accelerated activity in the Islamic Republic of Iran” which is the Middle East’s second largest economy.

International credit rating agency Capital Intelligence also revised its outlook on Iran’s sovereign ratings to “stable” from “positive”.

“The upgrade reflects the progressive improvement in the external environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its positive impact on the sovereign creditworthiness,” it said.

The Iranian government unveiled a policy package last month in order to stimulate the stagnant economy through higher investment in production and boosting consumer spending.

The measures are envisaged for a duration of six months in the run-up to the lifting of sanctions.

Since coming to office in 2013, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has ridden out recession and presided over a growth rate of about 3% by following a tight monetary and fiscal policy.

It has also brought down inflation rates from above 40% to 15% and pledged to achieve single digits before his tenure is over.

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