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IMF report on Iran’s economic success draws scepticism

Posted by alanmirs on June 18, 2011


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Mission that spent two weeks in Iran says government has reduced inequalities and improved living standards

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, won praise for removing subsidies on fuel, food and other essentials. Photograph: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features

Economists have reacted with scepticism to an IMF statement that praises the economic policies of Iran‘s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the face of drastic punitive measures against the country.

The IMF said it has revised its previous figures on Iran’s economy after a brief visit to the country, expressing admiration for some of the controversial plans introduced by the hardline president.

A mission led by Dominique Guillaume, a deputy division chief at the IMF, which travelled to Iran for two weeks in May and June this year, concluded that the government had been successful “in reducing inequalities, improving living standards and supporting domestic demand”.

The IMF previously predicted that Iran’s economy would suffer zero growth in 2011, but now says real GDP growth recovered to an estimated 3.5% last year and forecast “positive growth momentum continued in 2010/11”.

It also said inflation had been brought down from 25.4% to 12.4%. The statement attracted extensive coverage in Iran’s state-run media, which said the IMF had “corrected” itself.

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