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Iran’s economy out of recession after two growth quarters: Chief banker

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)
Iran’s top banker says the economy is now definitely out of recession after two quarters of growth.

Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati says the county’s economy has emerged from nearly three years of recession caused by US sanctions and exacerbated by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hemmati wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday that two successive growth quarters for the Iranian economy in the fiscal year beginning late March 2020 meant that the economy was out of a period of declined activity and contraction in business cycle.

The chief banker cited figures released by the CBI’s Economic Accounts Department showing that Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.9 percent with oil and by 2.9 percent without oil in the quarter to December 20.

“Thus, one can definitely announce the transition of the Iranian economy from the difficult period of sanctions and the recession associated with it to a period of renewed economic growth,” said Hemmati.

Iran has been hit hard by a series of unprecedented US sanctions since the middle of 2018 when a former government in Washington decided to pull out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

Sanctions have largely targeted Iran’s exports of crude as its main source of earning hard currency. However, the bans have triggered a sweeping reform program in the Iranian economy as the government continues to diversify its revenues away from oil by encouraging increased activity in manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

Hemmati hailed the fact that Iran had recorded two quarters of economic growth at a time many countries are grappling with a deep recession.

He said latest CBI data on GDP growth and the performance of various sectors of the economy during the quarter to late December will be published next week.

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