Iran Economic Forecast

Iran Economic Outlook

July 7, 2020

The economy likely continued to shrink severely in recent months, undermined by U.S. economic sanctions and Covid-19. A steady rise in daily new cases of the virus since May forced the government to reintroduce lockdown measures in seven major cities in late June, which, coupled with the rial sinking to an all-time low in recent weeks, should be fueling inflation and thus battering private consumption. Moreover, oil production continued to contract notably in May and energy exports likely remained severely depressed in large part due to weak Chinese demand. That being said, gasoline exports have likely picked up in recent weeks, as shortages in Venezuela led to a rise in demand for Iran’s U.S.-sanctioned gasoline. Consequently, tensions with the U.S. have increased, which could lead to even harsher economic sanctions going forward.

Iran Economic Growth

In SH 2020 (which runs roughly from April 2020 to March 2021), the economy will contract sharply for the third consecutive year. U.S. sanctions on the manufacturing sector and the health crisis will weigh on the non-oil private sector, while the oil economy remains crippled by prior sanctions and depressed energy prices. Panelists see the economy contracting 7.3% in SH 2020, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In SH 2021, the economy is seen growing 3.0%.

Iran Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)79.580.581.482.483.3
GDP per capita (USD)4,9315,2745,635-  -  
GDP (USD bn)392424459-  -  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)-1.313.43.8-  -  
Consumption (annual variation in %)-  -  -  -  -  
Unemployment Rate11.812.512.112.110.6
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.6-1.9-1.8-  -  
Public Debt (% of GDP)38.447.539.531.8-  
Money (annual variation in %)30.023.222.123.1-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)8.47.97.346.622.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)11.16.98.226.934.8
Exchange Rate (vs USD)30,16232,42237,74342,00042,000
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)29,12330,99433,38440,89542,000
Current Account (% of GDP)0.33.93.4-  -  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)1.216.415.826.7-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)5.420.822.632.6-  
Exports (USD billion)63.084.098.193.4-  
Imports (USD billion)57.663.175.560.8-  
Exports (annual variation in %)-29.233.316.9-4.8-  
Imports (annual variation in %)-18.79.519.7-19.6-  
International Reserves (USD)116104106108105

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