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Iran reports first quarterly economic growth in a year

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdolnasser Hemmati (Photo by IBENA)

Authorities say Iran’s economic growth, without considering the sale of oil, was 0.4 percent in the first three months of the current Persian calendar year beginning in late March.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati said on Thursday that growth recorded in the first quarter, compared to the similar period in 2018, was a first to come after months of depression that began following a decision by the United States last year to withdraw from an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and impose sanctions on the country.

Hemmati said the meager figure reported for growth in the period was below Iran’s real economic potentials.

He said, however, that the development was “promising” given that Iran had reported three quarters of negative growth over 2018-2019.

“This achievement has been realized in light of tranquility and relative stability of the market and easing of the impacts of the foreign shocks caused by sanction and pressure,” said Hemmati in a post on his Instagram page.

The chief banker further said that Iran’s banking system would commit itself to more loans and credits to various economic sectors in the future months to help boost the current growth in the economy.

He said it had been agreed in a recent meeting attended by Iran’s vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri, senior ministers and CEOs of banks to earmark a package of loans worth nearly $9 billion to the leading sectors of the economy.

Reports suggest Iran has managed to offset the impacts of the American sanctions that were enacted in November and toughened in May.

National currency rial began to rise against foreign currencies in July after months of trading at historic lows while the CBI and Iran’s Statistical Center have reported improved economic indicators, including lower inflation and increased employment.

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